Monthly Archives: May 2015

Obesity Awareness in Frederick, MD

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Over 50% of pets in the United States are overweight. Just like people, obesity can lead to other health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Obesity can even shorten your beloved pet’s lifespan. A lifetime study of Labrador Retrievers showed that even moderate obesity can reduce the pet’s life expectancy by two years. But, how do you know if your pet is overweight?

A pet’s body score is rated on a scale of 1 to 9, with 5 being ideal for most breeds. The best way to determine if your dog is overweight is to stand over them. You should be able to feel their ribs easily, without being able to see them (except in the case of certain breeds, like greyhounds and whippets). They should also have a nice taper at their waistline, with an hourglass figure. If your pet is oval or egg shaped, they are likely overweight.

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Just like people, keeping your pet at an appropriate weight can lead to a longer and healthier life. If you are concerned about your pet’s weight, make sure to bring them into Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD to see your veterinarian, who will help you develop a weight loss plan so you can spend more time with your happy, healthy pet.

 

Weight Loss Success on Hill’s Prescription Diet T/D

 

When kitties Winter and Twilight Gronsky were brought in to Kingsbrook Animal Hospital by their owners for a routine examination back in 2014, Dr. Cardella noticed a pattern of weight gain. In January of 2014, Winter weighed 14.9 lbs. Twilight, also a domestic shorthair cat, weighed 14.44 lbs in February, 2014. The cat’s owners were feeding them a good quality food and measuring out their portions, but they were still too heavy.

Both Dr. Cardella and the cat’s parents were concerned that the gain in weight would start to affect the kitty’s health negatively. Studies have shown that there is an association between oral health issues and other health issues such as with the heart, kidneys and metabolic systems. Dr. Cardella suggested switching the cat’s diet to a prescription food and Winter and Twilight’s parents readily agreed. The prescription diet chosen was Hill’s Prescription Diet Feline T/d. T/d (Tooth diet) has very large-sized kibble that pet’s can’t swallow whole. They must chew the kibble to break them up small enough to swallow. Chewing the kibble allows it to scrape plaque and tartar off the teeth. So why did Dr. Cardella choose to prescribe a dental diet when these cats needed to lose weight? T/d has the additional benefit of being low in calories!

Dr. Cardella recommended feeding each cat ¼ cup of T/d twice daily. With their owner’s hard work and dedication, we are happy to report that both cats have lost weight! Way to go! In February, 2015 Winter weighed in at 10.85 lbs, and in March, 2015 Twilight weighed 10.98 lbs. Both cats are now at their ideal body weight! Their owners have done an amazing job with their weight loss challenge and report that both cats are much more active and happy now that they’ve lost weight. Now that both kitties are at their ideal weight, their fed portion size may be adjusted to help them to maintain their perfect physique. It’s not an easy task to help pets lose weight, but it leads to a happier, healthier pet. Winter and Twilight are so lucky to have such amazing pet parents.

Winter

Before: 14.9lbs

After: 10.85 lbs

Total weight lost: 4.05 lbs!

Twilight

Before: 14.44lbs

After: 10.98 lbs

Total weight lost: 3.46 lbs!

Here is Winter now! He is looking svelte as he explores one of our exam rooms.

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If you have questions about your pet’s weight, please call Kingsbrook Animal Hospital at: 301-631-6900

Pesky Parasites in Frederick, MD

It is that time of year again- we are all looking forward for some warm days and sunny skies!  However with reward sometimes comes risk, and fleas and ticks pose a threat to our animals particularly during the warmer months, so it is time to continue our battle against the fleas and ticks, or ecto-parasites, which threaten the health of our beloved pets!  In order to best protect your pets it is helpful to know what you are protecting them from. Below outlines the common flea and tick species present in Frederick, MD.

While fleas have names that suggest they may prefer a specific species of animal, it is important to remember that these parasites are not host specific- meaning they are not picky about what they feed on!

Fleas:flea

  • Ctenocephalides felis– the cat flea
  • Ctenocephalides canis– the dog flea

While there are close to 2500 different species of fleas, above are the fleas commonly found in Frederick, MD, but close to 90% of dogs and cats are infested with the cat flea.  Female fleas can lay between 40-50 eggs in a day that fall of your beloved pet into their bedding, furniture, and the surrounding house.  Fleas suck the blood from our pets and cause anemia in severe cases.  If ingested, they can infect your pet with an intestinal parasite known as the tapeworm. When a flea bites a host, it injects a protein with an anticoagulant into the animal.  Some animals are intensely allergic to flea saliva and will cause them to be severely itchy, and can happen with as few as 6 fleas.

Ticks:tick

  • Dermacentor variabilis- the American dog tick
  • Rhipicephalus sanguineus- the brown dog tick/ the kennel tick
  • Ixodes scapularis- the deer tick/ the blacklegged tick
  • Amblyomma americanum- the lone star tick

There are over 800 different tick species, but above are the four most commonly found in Frederick, MD.  Ticks are particularly dangerous to our four legged friends due to all the different diseases that they can transmit to them: lyme disease, ehrlichia, anaplasmosis, rocky mountain spotted fever, among others.  Tick-borne diseases can skin irritation, fever, lethargy, stiff and painful joints, and decreased appetite to name a few.

If you have found fleas or ticks on your beloved pet(s), a visit to your favorite veterinarian here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital will help you determine the best treatment and course of action.  It is much easier to prevent these unwanted hitchhikers then it is to treat your animals for any of the diseases or the blood loss that can be caused by these ecto-parasites.  Talk with your veterinarian here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD to determine what the best prevention program is to keep your fur babies safe and protected.  Remember to keep your preventatives going not only during our peak flea and tick season, but throughout the year as well- those mild winter days can have the flea and tick population rebound in less time than you would think!  We look forward to seeing you soon!

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