Finding the best vet care for pets

Dear Readers: I get many letters from pet lovers all over the United States. We love our pets like our family, and we want them to have top-notch care. Many of you have written to me inquiring about the best animal care centers in the U.S. Fortunately, there are many outstanding, accredited and advanced vet facilities in the U.S., as well as very good local vet care in your states and communities.

After researching, here’s a list of highly recommended vet facilities:

— The Schwarzman Animal Medical Center (New York City’s only level 1 trauma center)

— The William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis

— Cornell’s Companion Animal Hospital in Ithaca, New York

— Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston

— The Ryan Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania

— Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center of Westbury, New York

— Veterinary Specialists of Birmingham, Alabama

For more information, go to their websites. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: Please advise your readers of a Medicare scam that is going around. They will get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the “medical center” or the “state medical center.” They may offer a back brace or some piece of medical equipment at no cost. What the caller really wants is the person’s Medicare number. They will use that number to file fraudulent claims with Medicare.

When someone gets a call like that, they shouldn’t give out any information. Just hang up instead. — Les, in San Antonio


Dear Heloise: I have a hint that works for us, so I thought I’d share it:

Instead of a clothes hamper, we just put our dirty clothes directly into the washing machine; then, when it’s full, we do a cold-water wash. It just makes life easier, and we don’t have to make room for a hamper. So, why not? — Barbara, Hollywood Beach, California


Dear Heloise: I love your column! I have been using your advice and recipes for many years, so thank you. I just saw your advice about oven cleaner and how to be careful about toxic fumes. I recently had a “burnt food debacle” in my oven that included cheese. After letting the oven cool, and cleaning up as much as possible, I ran the self-clean feature, which enveloped the house in smoke. I stopped it, let the oven cool and planned on getting oven cleaner in the morning.

However, I decided to look online on how to clean without toxic chemicals. Making a paste with either water or white vinegar (I used vinegar) was advised. I did this and let it sit for 30 minutes, and it cleaned the oven beautifully! It even cleaned the glass window. Thanks again for all that you do! — Mary Webster, via email


Dear Heloise: Wash white sheets or underwear in hot water with ammonia and detergent — or just sudsy ammonia. The ammonia and hot water will melt and wash out the waxy oil (sebum) that is on everyone’s skin. (That’s the “ring around the collar” on shirts, too.) Do not use bleach with ammonia. Wash in a separate load if bleach is needed. — Louella R., in Houston

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Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.


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