Monthly Archives: October 2013

Halloween Horrors in Frederick, MD: Chocolate and Candy Toxicity

Halloween is just around the corner and with it comes loads of candy and chocolate.  At Kingsbrook Animal Hospital, we want you to know the risks associated if your pet ingests candy or chocolate.  While Halloween is a fun, sweet treat holiday, the chance of candy or chocolate ingestion increases due to the amount of it in households.  People buy bundles of it to pass out to trick-or-treaters and our children bring tons of it home after visiting house to house.

Some candies have an ingredient in it called Xylitol, which is a sweetener.  Xylitol is toxic to our pets if they ingest it and can land a pet in the hospital.  You see, Xylitol is not metabolized the same way in our pets as it is in us.  If a pet eats candy that has been sweetened with Xylitol, contact your veterinarian right away.  Xylitol ingestion causes blood glucose levels to drop drastically and can affect liver function too, making a pet very sick and not able to recover on their own.

Chocolate is another devilishly good Halloween treat and is made from cocoa. Cocoa beans contain caffeine and a chemical called theobromine.  The chemical theobromine is toxic to pets.  If ingested in small amounts, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea; in larger quantities it can cause tremors, hyperactivity, high blood pressure, seizures, and even death.

We all love sweet treats, and so do our pets.  Make sure Halloween treats are kept out of reach of your pet to prevent accidental ingestion.  If you suspect your pet has eaten any candy or chocolate, contact your veterinarian or animal poison control center right away.  Have a Happy Halloween and safe Trick-or-Treating!!

Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s View on Microchipping

Here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital we recommend microchipping your pet. This is to ensure our clients that if their pet were to get lost, they would be able to find their way back home. We use the company HomeAgain.  HomeAgain is a lost pet recovery service that provides us with microchips and clients with a datadase with their information that matches with their pets microchip.   
We always recommend to microchip while a pet is under anesthesia or after using a local anesthetic by a veterinarian.  The microchip with an ID number is injected between the shoulder blades of the pet.  We then register your information to your pets ID number through HomeAgain’s database.  Any Animal Hospital or Shelter would know to scan any found pet for a microchip.  Then they would contact HomeAgain to get the owners information to reunite the pet with their owners. 
Just this week we had a gentleman come in with a little dog that he had found in a nearby parking lot.  She was an adorable little dog with a HomeAgain collar on that read Cocoa and an ID number.  We called HomeAgain (1-888-HomeAgain or www.homeagain.com) to report her missing.  They gave us Cocoa’s owner’s information. Within minutes we were able to contact the owner and she was so relieved to know that Cocoa was ok.  She had been at work with her and she got out when a delivery was being made.  It was so great to see them reunite, you couldn’t tell who was happier!  Thanks to microchipping,  pets are able to find their way back home!
For more information please call Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick MD. 
301-631-6900

Bloody Dilemma-Torn Toenail, What my Veterinarian Recommends

   Has your dog cracked or torn a toenail? Depending on the severity of the injury, your dog could be experiencing discomfort and pain from the affected toe. A lot of times these torn nails can bleed and look messy. The severity of the crack/tear will determine treatment. However, regardless of the situation, Kingsbrook Animal Hospital recommends giving us a call to speak with staff to determine the next steps to be taken in helping your pet. 

   There are a few possible reasons your dog’s toenail may have split. Your dog most likely caught its toenail on something in the environment. Another factor to consider is age. As dogs grow older, the nails can become thickened and brittle causing them to crack more easily. It is especially important to keep older pets’ nails trimmed and shaped to an appropriate length to help prevent injury. 

   If your pet’s toenail is minimally cracked, the KAH staff can trim the nail or use a dremmel to smooth out the nail and reduce the likelihood of the nail catching and causing a more traumatic injury. 

   At home first aid can be administered prior to bringing your pet to our office for treatment. A soft square of gauze can be placed around the affected foot and wrapped with an ace bandage or secured with medical tape to apply pressure and slow any bleeding that may be present. Your dog may be very sensitive any touch on and around the area. In these cases, it may be best to place a layer of old, clean towels on your car seat that your pet can sit on before coming in to our office. Once at our location, our great staff and vets will be able to help your pet feel more comfortable.

   More severe torn toenails can be very painful. If the pulp (or quick) is exposed, it can bleed or ooze and be especially sensitive. Kingsbrook Animal hospital is very conscious of managing your pet’s pain and trying to make the experience as stress-free for both you and your dog. Typically, our technicians will give your dog an injection of pain medication and sedatives. This allows for further investigation of the area without causing more pain and anxiety to our furry patient. If the toenail is still attached, it will most likely need to be removed or trimmed. Once sedated, the area can be clipped of fur and the toenail is then removed. The toe is cleaned using an antiseptic solution and an antibiotic ointment may be applied topically. The foot is then bandaged for a couple of days.

 The bandage is applied for a few reasons. It helps to prevent the site from exposure to bacteria and infection and it prevents your pet from licking the area which can introduce bacteria into it. The bandage also makes it more comfortable for your dog to walk. A great aspect of the sedatives that we give your dog is that they can be reversed! This means that once the doctors and technicians are done with the procedure, your pup will be given the reversal agent which leads to a very speedy recovery. Your dog will be able to go home very shortly afterward. Generally your pet is sent home with oral pain medications (or NSAIDS), and oral antibiotics.

   Here at KAH, our great doctors and staff recognize that your pet is an individual and that means that all treatment is tailored to your pet’s needs. Please call our office located in Frederick, MD with any questions that you may have.

Freeloaders-Intestinal Parasites in Frederick, MD

While fleas and ticks are the most common parasites we think about on a daily basis, the least common are those creepy crawly things known as intestinal parasites.  The thing to know about these creatures is that their eggs are microscopic and even though we can’t see them, they are all around us, even in Frederick, MD.
Wild creatures, such as rabbits and mice, are the most common carriers and they are all over.  When our pets go outside and use the bathroom, this allows them to come in contact with these same parasites.  They can enter our pet’s bodies through the pads of their feet and even by ingestion of their feces, yuck!  Our indoor cats are even susceptible to these guys by ingestion of insects such as crickets and grasshoppers.
Parasites may not cause any outward health issues at first, but some signs of intestinal parasites can include a dull hair coat, weight loss, diarrhea and a pot belly.  The most concerning of the intestinal parasites includes hookworms, roundworms and giardia.  These guys are something called zoonotic, meaning they can be transferred to humans. 

A way to keep our pets safe from these intestinal parasites is by administering a heartworm preventative that has a dewormer added to it.  Kingsbrook Animal Hospital recommends using Sentinel.  Sentinel is available only

through a veterinarian and we believe to be the best preventative out there.  Sentinel comes as a monthly tablet and takes care of roundworms, hookworms and another intestinal parasite called whipworms.

Problematic Parasites: Fleas and Ticks in Frederick, MD

As we all know, fleas and ticks are a common unwanted reality of owning a pet.  Fleas and ticks are commonly referred to as ecto-parasites.  Ecto-parasites are hitch-hikers and will catch a ride on your pet from infested outdoor areas, and other pets or animals.  In addition to being hitch-hikers, they feed on your pet and can transmit disease; they can also jump off of your pet and onto you or into your home.

 Ticks can carry a number of diseases including Lyme, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasmosis.  Tick-borne disease can cause your pet to become very sick and painful.  Most tick-borne disease causes lethargy, decreased appetite, increased liver values, and painful or stiff joints.  Fleas can cause anemia in severe cases and if ingested can infect your pet with another parasite called tapeworm.

How do we keep our pets from becoming infested with these gross little critters?  Topical flea and tick preventatives are the best way to keep your friend protected.  Kingsbrook Animal Hospital recommends using Frontline.  Frontline is available through a veterinarian and is very safe and easy to use. It is one of the best products on the market that kill fleas and the most common ticks.  To use Frontline you simply apply to the skin, once a month. Frontline is waterproof, but works best if you can avoid applying it at least 2 days before or after a bath.  It is most effective when applied correctly, the product works by absorbing into the lipid layers of the skin and doesn’t get absorbed systemically, which is why it is so safe.

With the upcoming cooler weather, it is a common misconception that it is ok to discontinue the use of flea and tick preventatives.  Living in Frederick, MD we tend to have some mild days during our winters.  It is best to use Frontline year around to ensure your pet is being protected from these problem causing parasites.