4 Pet Safety Tips for Halloween

4 Pet Safety Tips for Halloween


On Halloween night, the ghouls and goblins come out and actually ring your doorbell!  This can be very stressful for our furry friends.  It is best if pets are kept somewhere away from the trick-or-treat mayhem.  A room at the back of the house with the door closed is a great option.  If your pets are crate trained, you may want to put them in their crates.  Playing soft music to mask the sound of the doorbell is also a great idea.  If possible, you can sit outside to hand out candy, then your pets won’t be disturbed by the doorbell and the opening and closing of the door.



Now is a great time to make sure the tags on Kitty’s collar and the information on Fido’s microchip record is up-to-date.  If your four-legged family member does dart out the door on trick-or-treat night, you want to know that you can be contacted when they are found.  If your pet wears a collar, make sure that your name and phone number are correct.  If they aren’t, stop by any pet store and make a new one.  It would also be a good idea to make sure you have an updated photo of your pet, in the event that the collar falls off.  Microchipping is a permanent identification method that does not rely on a collar.  After being microchipped at a veterinary office your contact information is kept on file.  Make sure that this information is correct so that when the microchip is scanned you can be contacted quickly.

Make sure to keep your Halloween candy away from your pets before and after the big day!  The chocolate and sugar in Halloween candy can make many animal species very sick.  Keep the candy bowl behind a cupboard door or up on a high shelf.  If you have a closed container that works too. Also, make sure that candy wrappers are thrown away.  The leftover smell makes them a tempting treat for curious pets.




If you are carving pumpkins, consider using tea lights to illuminate your handi-work.  Lit candles can be very dangerous with pets around.  Curious critters may burn themselves if they get to close.  It is also possible for them to knock over the candles which could cause fire damage. Jack-o-lanterns are best kept outside.  Also, make sure to throw away carved pumpkins before they start to grow mold. While small bits of fresh pumpkin are not harmful to most pets, moldy pumpkins can be very dangerous if eaten.

Dr. Brandilyn Wagoner at Exotics Con 2018

Dr. Brandilyn Wagoner at Exotics Con 2018

Last month the Boght & Oakwood Veterinary Clinics sent Dr. Brandilyn Wagoner to Atlanta, Georgia for ExoticsCon 2018! Organized by the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV), the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV) and the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV), it is said to be the largest conference of its kind in the world. For 5 days attendees come to learn more about how to care for their exotic patients.  Reptiles, birds, and small mammals such as hedgehogs, sugar gliders, and ferrets are all considered exotic pets.  The conference was attended by more than one thousand veterinary professionals and facilitated by lecturers from around the world.

T-Bird the Toucan

Dr. Wagoner was able to participate in hands-on trainings as well as attend lectures pertaining to her areas of interest.  She worked on perfecting her bird handling in Low-Stress Avian Handling Techniques and learned new surgery skills in How to Intubate Almost Any Exotic Companion Animal.  Did you know that many small mammals including rabbits have a large tongue, large molars, a small larynx, and a soft palate? This makes it very difficult to intubate these animals without video assistance. The skills she practiced in this session will help her medicate our small mammal pets better.

Dr. Wagoner with Kazu the African Grey Parrot



She also attended a workshop titled What Parrots Want, where she learned about enrichment for pet birds to keep them happy and healthy. Enrichment can have a number of medical and emotional benefits. It includes social, cognitive, physical, sensory, and nutritional/foraging enrichment. She also attended lectures to learn more about wildlife care and rehabilitation to increase her knowledge in this field. There was even a lecture on using kitchen tupperware to keep shell injuries dry in turtles.

When not in lecture, she was able to see some of the sites from the Atlanta area including SunTrust Field, where the Atlanta Braves play baseball.  She did some shopping at the Ponce City Market, an old manufacturing complex repurposed into shops and restaurants. There was a great day spent at Zoo Atlanta visiting the silverback gorillas and pandas!

Dr. Wagoner on her way to the zoo (L); Silverback Gorilla at Zoo Atlanta (R)



Meet Tom- Veterinary Assistant

Meet Tom- Veterinary Assistant

Tom and his cat Nala

At the Boght and Oakwood Veterinary Clinics, we have had the pleasure of working with Tom Fuller since 2016.  He is employed as a full-time veterinary assistant. As the job title implies, he works closely with our doctors.  During daily appointments he obtains a brief history, answers any general questions from our clients related to their pet’s care, and relays any concerns to the doctors.  He works with the doctors and technicians in the treatment area and is responsible for many aspects of animal care including monitoring surgical cases and hospitalized patients. He also helps to complete lab work in our in-house lab.


Boght and Oakwood Veterinary CLinic Maintenence Van – Designed by Tom

Tom is always willing to lend a hand wherever he is needed and will do the dirtiest job with a smile.  He is eager and excited to learn new skills related to his job.  He is currently working with Dr. Brandilyn Wagoner, and our Digital Communications Director Michelle, on a project related to our clinic adoptions.  This gives him the opportunity to use his graphic design talents.  He has also used his graphic design background to design the company’s maintenance van.


Outside of the office, Tom spends time with his cat Nala, a cat he adopted from the clinic. He enjoys outdoor activities like longboarding and climbing.

Hiking while on Vacation

Employees Loose at the Zoo

Employees Loose at the Zoo

Yes, we do occasionally let them out of the office!

As part of our ongoing effort to support staff well being, Dr. Brandilyn Wagoner and our management staff have been organizing bimonthly trips to different locations.

This past August, 49 employees, family, and friends spent the day at the Bronx Zoo. It’s was just starting to rain when we arrived but that didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm! In groups of 2s and 3s everyone went their own way to check out their own favorites. There was Tiger Mountain and the World of Birds. We traveled the Wild Asia Monorail and watched young baboons frolic in their Reserve Some went straight to the Carter giraffe building, some to the Congo Gorilla Forest. Bug Carousel? Mouse House? Butterfly garden? Monkeys of Madagascar!? Rhinos at the Zoo Center? There was a lot to see and something for everyone to experience.

Run by the Wildlife Conservation Society (https://www.wcs.org/), the zoo trip was an education of sorts and reinforced for all of us on the trip that saving wildlife and wild places is part of our mission as animal lovers.


Meet Michelle – Our Digital Communications Manager

Meet Michelle – Our Digital Communications Manager

As the oldest daughter of Dr. David Wagoner, Michelle has a long history with the Boght Veterinary Clinic.  She remembers spending summers in the house at the back of the office, babysitting her sisters while her dad was working. She started working for the clinic officially in 2002 as a receptionist and remembers going through building renovations and computer system upgrades.

After high school, Michelle went on to college and a career in the field of education.  While teaching she became interested in Digital Communication through blogging and sharing teaching ideas on the internet.  Now, after 14 years, she is back in the area and once again working for the Boght and Oakwood Veterinary Clinics.

Michelle’s goal in her new position is to connect with clients and their pets in a fun and personal way.  She plans to do this through regular postings on our Facebook pages (Boght Facebook and Oakwood Facebook) and blog posts and updates here on our website. Her hope is to have other staff members connect through these platforms as well.

At a minor league baseball game

The best part of Michelle’s job is being able to spend time with her family and be part a business that she is proud of.  The Boght Veterinary Clinic, and later the Oakwood Veterinary Clinic, has always supported Michelle in her endeavors and she is looking forward to returning the favor.

When she is not in the office, she is most likely spending time with her husband and son.  They enjoy going to sporting events, watching movies, and traveling. They have two dogs – Salvatore “Putz” and Willow “Aggressive Snuggler”.

Willow (right) and Salvatore (left)

East Meets West

East Meets West

The Boght Veterinary Clinic is adding Acupuncture treatment to our other companion animal services.  Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese medicine.  It involves the insertion of thin, sterile needles into discrete and specific points on the body in order to cause a therapeutic effect.  These points in the body are called acupoints and the ancient Chinese identified 173 acupoints in animals.  Based on modern research and her training from The Chi Institute, Dr. Nichole Ford will be offering this new service to our patients with a range of conditions.


So how does acupuncture work in our pets?  A great number of studies indicate that the stimulation of acupoints induces the release of beta-endorphins, serotonin and other neurotransmitters which can lead to a reduction in pain and inflammation, promote tissue healing, supports a pet’s immune system and reduce fever.  Older dogs living with arthritis, patients with orthopedic injuries, neurological conditions, epilepsy or vestibular disease may benefit from acupuncture treatments as well.


Acupuncture is a very safe practice with few side effects.  The treatments are rarely painful because the acupoints are stimulated using very fine needles.  Most animals are very comfortable with acupuncture therapy due to the relaxation effect.  Some patients even fall asleep during their treatments.


Acupuncture treatment sessions can last 20-45 minutes with a varying number treatments needed based on the condition being treated.  Some treatments are daily but others may be weekly or monthly.  Results might be seen immediately but some of our patients require several sessions.  There are also a number of herbal formulations available that Dr. Ford can use to supplement the acupuncture treatments and support the targeted acupoints.


Please call our office or speak to our doctors about acupuncture treatments and benefits.  We are excited about the results we are seeing and the health benefits it offers to our patients.

205 OAKWOOD AVE | TROY, NY 12182