Monthly Archives: November 2013

Dog Friendly Frederick, Maryland

Frederick, Maryland is a great place to be a dog owner!

Downtown Frederick is becoming a hot spot for dog lovers to visit. There are over 50 shops that welcome dogs including home furnishing, book and clothing stores. There are even antique, art and jewelry  shops that allow well behaved, leashed dogs! Downtown also has several restaurants where you can enjoy a meal or a cocktail with your dog!  Café Nola, Ben and Jerry’s and La Paz are all restaurants that allow dogs on their patios.  Other restaurants, such as Griff’s and Cacique, allow dogs to be tied to outside of their patios. Be aware though-if an unfriendly dog comes across your tied up dog, there is a fence between you and your dog. Look for the “My dog’s digging Downtown Frederick” stickers in the windows for dog friendly restaurants and shops. Recently technicians from Kingsbrook Animal Hospital had an outing downtown with their dogs. Julie, Ann C. and Tiffanie, along with their dogs Stuart, Quincy and Ethel all enjoyed dinner at La Paz: Dog treats and bowls of water complimentary! 

 
Dog Days of Summer, sponsored by Downtown Frederick Partnership, is always a big hit for dog lovers. Besides the regular dog friendly restaurants and stores there is a costume contest, parade, music and “yappy” hour.

Several of the local animal welfare groups have fund raisers which can be attended with your dog. Walk in Wag, Bark in the Park, Paws and Claws and Howl O Wine are all fundraisers in or near Frederick that Kingsbrook Animal Hospital had a booth. Several of our technician’s dogs joined in on the fun at these functions.

Another great activity to do in Frederick and surrounding areas is hiking! Catoctin Municipal Park, Greenbrier Park, Gambrill Park and Cunningham Falls have areas which allow hiking with dogs. South Mountain Battlefield,  Monocacy National Battlefield and Catoctin Nature Center also have dog friendly areas. Ann C’s favorite place to hike with Quin is the trails in the water shed area of Gambrill Mountain and the Appalachian trail . Before hiking make sure your dog is protected against ticks! In some remote areas a bear bell on your dog collar will help deter any surprises hidden in brush or around bends in trails.
There are also several dog parks in the area to let your dog romp. Green Briar in Urbana, Downtown Frederick and Ballenger Creek all have fenced dog Parks. Caution should always be used when visiting dog parks-Kingsbrook Animal Hospital recommends picking a slow time of day when the park isn’t too congested. The more dogs, the more chance of a scuffle-Remember, dogs are pack animals! Always use  common sense when visiting dog parks and watch all the dog’s body language.
Make sure you visit Kingsbrook to update your dog for kennel cough and Canine influenza if needed. It is also important to have your dog on a HW preventative such as Sentinel that will also prevent intestinal parasites!

Written by Ann Carlson

 

  

My Dog, My Therapist

    After losing my two beloved Basenjis Kylie and Cricket in a house fire in April of 2012.  I was devastated.  My world revolved around my dogs.  Since my husband and I do not have children, Kylie and Cricket were our “fur-kids.”  They had play dates, birthday parties, visits to Mamaw and Pappy’s house and lots of presents at Christmas.  Being without a home was inconvenient, being without my girls was unimaginable.

      Trying to be proactive, I sought help for the depression I knew would come after the shock wore off.  I contacted the local Hospice office and enrolled in one-on-one therapy with a loss professional.  After 3 weeks, she released me stating that I was dealing with all my emotions as expected.  A month later, I was still crying on a daily basis and having trouble concentrating.  I called my doctor and she recommended a private therapist that could help me cope.  I contacted her and scheduled an appointment for the following week.

     By this time, my husband and I had been relocated to an apartment while our house was being rebuilt.  I wanted to get another dog.  Not as a replacement, there will NEVER be another Kylie or Cricket, but as a companion.  My husband and I work some opposite shifts and it would be nice to not be home alone. I wanted to wait until the house was done before getting another dog.  I didn’t feel it was fair to raise a dog in an apartment.  Their only exercise on a leash.  A dog should be able to run and jump and play.  My dog plans had to be put on hold. I continued to see the therapist and continued to cry and feel sorry for myself.  Something had to give.

     My coworker texted me a picture of two puppies that needed a home.  The puppies were Whippet boys and were adorable, but I really wanted another Basenji.  A few weeks go by and one of the puppies was adopted but the other one was still available.  Julie brought the puppy in to work to visit.  It was love at first sight.  The date the house was to be done kept being pushed back and I was still miserable.  I talked to my husband and told him about the puppy.  I still wanted a Basenji, but if Terry wanted the Whippet puppy, we would give him a home.

     In September we made arrangements for my husband to go meet the puppy.  On the way there, he stated that we were going to pick up Rocket.  “Who’s Rocket?” I asked.  Our new puppy, Terry said.  He had welcomed him into our family sight unseen and even named him.  Rocket adjusted well to apartment living and learned to ring bells on the door when he needed to go out to potty.  Once Rocket came home with us, I quit going to see the therapist.  I didn’t need counseling.  I needed a dog.    

     Dogs are wonderful creatures.  The are so loving and loyal.  They don’t ask for much.  All they want out of life is a safe home, a warm bed, nutritious food and a loving pat.  In return they offer unconditional love. I think that is a pretty good deal.

written by Ranee Baker RVT

     Kingsbrook Animal Hospital has set up a fund in Memory of Kylie and Cricket.  The monies collected are used to help local Frederick, MD animals who have no loving, forever homes of their own.  For more information on the fund or to donate go to:
                                      kylieandcricketmemorialfund.blogspot.com

Concerns About Jerky Pet Treats in Frederick, MD

As you may have heard in the news, there is great concern about potential problems with JERKY TREATS causing serious, even potentially fatal problems in dogs.  Despite exhaustive studies, including trips to China to investigate production facilities and continual testing of jerky products, the FDA has been unable to find a link between the treats and the illnesses.  Is this all just internet/media hype or is there an underlying problem? We really do not know at this time.  The following article examines the issue in more depth.

Until we know more, it is probably best to avoid Jerky Treats for your dogs.
Call us if you have questions,Your Friends at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital
Seven years ago, Jordan Smith offered her two dogs a Christmas treat: pieces of chicken jerky. Within hours, Eugene, a 14-year-old wire-haired pointing griffon, and Choppy White, a poodle of uncertain age, had diarrhea and were vomiting. A week later, Choppy White died of liver failure.
Eugene hung on for a few more weeks but died in January 2007. The two dogs were among the first cases of pets apparently poisoned by chicken jerky dog treats.
“They immediately both got very ill, seriously ill,” said Ms. Smith, 41, a reporter at The Austin Chronicle in Austin, Tex. “I narrowed it down to this jerky because it was the only thing they had in common and it was within hours after they ate it.”
Ms. Smith eventually settled with the manufacturer of the pet treats under an agreement prohibiting her from revealing the company’s name. But she said she recently saw the product she believes poisoned her dogs still on sale.
Eugene and Choppy White are far from the only pets to suffer problems after eating jerky treats. The Food and Drug Administration has been investigating cases of suspected poisonings since 2007, with scant success. The agency updated the numbers last month: there have been more than 3,600 reports of illnesses associated with the treats and more than 580 deaths, almost all among dogs.
Dr. Richard E. Goldstein, the chief medical officer at the Animal Medical Center in New York, first noticed the problem in late 2006 or early 2007. “We’re still seeing patients now, and a lot of vets don’t know about it.”
The cause of the poisonings, if that is what they are, remains a mystery. About 60 percent of the cases nationwide involve

gastrointestinal illness; 30 percent, kidney ailments; and the rest, convulsions, tremors and skin irritations. Often the animals suffer from Fanconi syndrome, a kidney disease that is otherwise very rare in dogs. The breed or size does not appear to matter — Dalmatians and dachshunds, pugs and German shepherds, mutts and purebreds have all been affected.

Chicken is the most common ingredient in the products, but some also contain duck, sweet potatoes, yams and dried fruits. Many are manufactured in China, and in April 2012 F.D.A. officials inspected several factories there, gathering information on manufacturing processes, equipment, sanitation and product testing. They found nothing in any of the factories that would explain the poisonings.
They did find that one factory had falsified papers about glycerin, a common ingredient in the foods and not considered harmful in small quantities. Chinese authorities seized the firm’s products and suspended exports to the United States.
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has been investigating, as well. Officials found low levels of antibiotic residues in some of these products and in January asked for a voluntary recall of several brands, including Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch chicken jerky treats, both distributed by Nestlé.
Nestlé removed the products from stores in New York, but issued a statement asserting that the antibiotic residue does not pose a safety risk. A sharp decline in the number of complaints followed, but the F.D.A. agreed with Nestlé that antibiotics do not explain the problem and said that the reduced number of complaints probably reflected the smaller number of products available after the recall.
Still, the agency is continuing to test for possible contaminants. F.D.A. technicians ran 240 tests on samples collected from 2007 to 2011, and since then have collected about 250 samples connected to consumer complaints, plus 200 more bought at retail stores. The agency has performed more than 1,000 tests on these new samples.
Testing these products is not easy, according to Dr. Martine Hartogensis, deputy director of surveillance and compliance at the agency. “They’re very hard and dry, not soluble, more challenging than a raw or fresh product,” she said. “It’s harder to establish methods for testing them.”
Nevertheless, F.D.A. technicians have searched for a variety of germs, toxins, drugs and other contaminants. They have screened samples for Salmonella, mold, yeast and fungus. They have tested for additives and preservatives like nitrites and sulfites, and for 19 food dyes. They have run screens for lead, zinc, titanium and almost two dozen other metals. They have used a gas chromatography mass spectrometer to search for toxic chemicals.
They found Penicillium species in one sample, and some other antibiotics in some samples, none in quantities large enough to cause disease or death. They found glycerin in some products that were mislabeled as containing none.
But after all this, the F.D.A. has found nothing that could explain the apparent poisonings.
“We have a staff in our office of research working on jerky pet treats exclusively,” Dr. Hartogensis said. “And through our veterinary lab network, we have numerous labs throughout the country working on it.
On Oct. 22, the agency appealed to veterinarians, asking them to report illnesses associated with jerky treats and to collect urine and blood samples. The F.D.A. has since received more than 1,000 reports, including many from veterinarians.
“We’ve put out a lot of consumer alerts,” said Dr. Hartogensis, “but this is the first time we’ve talked to vets, our eyes and ears out there. We’re trying to get samples from active cases where the animal is currently sick.
“We really need more tissue, urine and blood samples,” she said. “That’s where toxins are concentrated.”

This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: November 5, 2013

An earlier version of this post misstated the circumstances under which Jordan Smith, whose two dogs were among the first cases of pets apparently poisoned by chicken jerky dog treats, reached an agreement with the manufacturer of the pet treats. She alerted the company to her dogs’ health issues and the company compensated her for her loss. She did not sue the company. In addition, after the recall she said she saw the product she believes poisoned her dogs still on sale under the same — not several different — brand name.

A version of this article appears in print on 11/05/2013, on page D6 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Concerns About Jerky Pet Treats .

Blood Donation-Saving Lives in Frederick, MD and Beyond

My dog Sullivan is a hero. 

He cuddles with me when I am sad. He motivates me to stay active by hiking every week. He is a jokester and provides hours of amusement. He loves my nephews and won’t leave their side when they visit. He runs, jumps, fetches, and has a party every time I return home. 

When he was a puppy, just 2 hours old, I saved his life.  I rescued him and watched him grow into a goofy, kindhearted dog that loves unconditionally. To me, he is the best dog in the world!  But that’s not why he is a hero.  Though my dog makes me happy and is my life-saver, he also literally saves lives. 

He is a blood donor.

It may not seem like a big deal, but dogs all over the United States have benefited directly from his donation.  Each time Sullivan donates his blood, up to four dog’s get another chance at life. These dogs may be anemic, have an illness, or have suddenly suffered a traumatic injury like being hit by a car. Without dogs like Sullivan, they would not survive. 

Sullivan donates his blood every 6 weeks when Kingsbrook Animal Hospital hosts the Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank. They are one of the largest of only three canine donor companies in the country. The great part about BRVBB is that they only use volunteer blood donors. So that means by Sullivan volunteering to donate his blood, he is saving yet another animal from a life in a cage with poor quality of life. 

On ‘blood donor day’ (as it is referred in my house), Sullivan gets super excited! He prances at the door when he sees that I have his leash. When arriving at the hospital, he makes his rounds saying ‘hello’ to all the veterinary technicians. When it is his turn to donate, he literally runs into the room.  They give him lots of yummy treats and pets. Sullivan happens to LOVE having his face rubbed and the staff and veterinarian at BRVBB are happy to oblige. Check out KAH’s YouTube channel to watch a video of Sullivan donating his blood!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjqUPTXZwaM It’s a lot easier than you might think! If you think your dog is a lifesaver, check out www.BRVBB.com  Or call KAH- ask for Julie. I’d be happy to talk to anyone about my dog, the hero, and help you decide if canine blood donation is right for you and your dog.

I may have saved Sullivan’s life, but in return he has saved so many more.

Written by Julie Fulghum