A new star is born! Kingsbrook Animal Hospital is proud to announce that our patient Penelope has been featured in an episode of Animal Planet’s new mini-series Life At Vet U. The episode first aired on Saturday October 29th but will be shown again on Saturday November 5th. During the show, Animal Planet covers the story of Penelope’s portosystemic shunt (PSS). Also known as a “liver shunt,” a PSS is a blood vessel that routes blood flow around the liver, instead of through it. This means that all of the toxins that a normal liver is able to break down and filter out remain in the pet’s circulation. These toxins build up in the bloodstream and can cause the pet to become very sick. Sometimes animals with a PSS will exhibit neurologic signs, like dizziness or seizures. This condition needs to be corrected surgically to close the vessel and restore normal blood flow through the liver. The students at the University of Pennsylvania helped Penelope by performing this surgery!
Tune in this coming weekend to see Penelope’s story, or check out the episode online at http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/life-at-vet-u/.
Veterinary medicine is a field that’s constantly changing and evolving; there are new medicines and treatments available for our pets almost every day. Here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, one advance that we were quick to embrace was a therapy laser.
Laser therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to treat pain. The therapy laser has a handpiece that directs the light and focuses it on the area that’s being treated. Laser therapy can be used for almost any kind of pain—a veterinarian may prescribe laser therapy for chronic joint pain (such as arthritis or hip dysplasia), for post-surgical pain (like a cruciate repair), or for wound care. It can even be used on gum tissue after oral surgery, or to treat pain associated with ear infections! New uses for laser therapy are being discovered all the time.
One of the best things about laser therapy is that it’s a non-invasive, easy way to treat our furry friends. Treatments are usually very quick (anywhere from 3-5 minutes total) and can be accompanied by lots of petting and treats. It can be used in conjunction with many medications and is painless as well as stress-free. At Kingsbrook Animal Hospital, therapy is usually started with three treatments the first week, two treatments the second week, and one last treatment in week three before the veterinarian assesses how the laser therapy is helping.
Only a few veterinarians in Frederick have a therapy laser, but the number is growing. Is laser therapy right for your animal companion? Ask your veterinarian, at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital, to find out more about this great new option for treating pain in pets!
Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s DIY “Potty Bell” for dogs!
Even if you don’t live in Frederick, MD- this is a great idea to help with training your dog!
‘D’ ring (or key ring)
Hot glue gun
Step 1. Tie a loop around your doorknob and “measure” how big the loop needs to be and how long.
Step 2. Cut the ribbon a little longer than the desired length (this gives you room to tie on the bells later).
Step 3. Singe the end of your ribbon with a lighter to prevent fraying.
Step 4. Slide the bells onto the D-ring or Key ring.
Step 5. Tie the end of the ribbon (opposite side of doorknob loop) onto the D-ring or Key-ring.
Step 6. Tie a bow onto the unfinished knots, cut and singe ends.
Step 7. Re-enforce the bow by placing a small amount of hot glue under the bow’s knot.
Step 8. Tie a bow to loop around door knob.
Step 9: Hang on your door and introduce to your pup!
*For tips on how to teach your dog to use the ‘Potty Bell,’ call us at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital 301-631-6900.
Remember- we love to see your final projects! Share your pictures with your favorite veterinarian- Kingsbrook Animal Hospital!
Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s DYI Paw print picture frame for dogs or cats!
2 different colors of paint
Paint the wooden frame with one of your chosen colors & wait for the the first coat to dry. Repeat if necessary.
Paint your dogs paw pads ( I decided to do this outside )
Stop! selfie time!
Place your dogs paw print on the frame itself.
Hint- lift your dog’s paw slowly so not to smear the paw print.
(Remember to wash the paint from your dog’s paw once this step is complete.)
Use the paint pen to write your dog’s name on the frame above the paw print.
Place a picture of your of dog in your frame & enjoy!
Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s DIY Cat Hideout!
Indoor cats benefit greatly from enrichment items, especially cat hideouts! It gives them an acceptable area to stretch their claws and provides a hiding spot for napping and/or playing. Kingsbrook RVT, Julie, has 2 cats and here is a picture of one of their well used cat hideouts. As you can see, it was time for a replacement and an upgrade! Here is step by step how Julie and her Dad built a new, bigger and even more cat-friendly cat hide out!
First- gather materials!
(Most of the materials can be found at any local Frederick hardware store.)
-Concrete tube form, 3/4 pine board, 2×4, screws, carpet, hemp rope, contact cement, recycled satellite dish
(Having a Dad or friend with some tools will make this project much easier!)
Using concrete tube form, trace the arch for internal perches onto the 3/4 pine board. Cut out with a scroll saw.
Stagger your perches inside the concrete tube form. Secure them with drywall screws.
Measure and cut out opening in the satellite dish. Attach the dish to the concrete form tube with drywall screws.
Measure and cut carpet scraps to fit around the concrete tube form.
Using liquid nails in a caulking gun, glue the hemp rope around the cylinder.
After glue is dry and oder has dissipated, present the cat hide out to your buddies!
Tip: There is no wrong way to build a cat hide out! Have fun with it 🙂
And remember to send pictures of your finished project to your favorite veterinarian- Kingsbrook Animal Hospital!
We all know blood donation saves lives. Three of my dogs have been donors for the Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank for several years. Even though they love it for the peanut butter and snuggles, I have seen blood donation first hand and what it can do.
His name is Badger. A cute 2 year old whippet who one day was not acting like his normal bubbly self. He became more and more lethargic and we noticed his gums were pale. After a visit with his veterinarian, we soon learned that Badger had Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia or IMHA. IMHA is a disease where the immune system attacks the red blood cells causing anemia. One way to assess the amount of red blood cells in the body is to run a blood test called a PCV or packed cell volume. A healthy dog will have a PCV between 35-55%. Although, he was immediately put on medications, Badger’s PCV fell to 13%. His only chance to survive was a blood transfusion. I remember the day we took him to the hospital to receive his transfusion. He was barely able to walk and his gums were white. He was so depressed. It was difficult to see him so sick.
Two days later, we were able to pick him up from the veterinary hospital. What a difference the blood transfusion had made! He was brighter and even able to trot out of the veterinary office much more like his usual self. Like most dogs with IMHA, we do not know why he developed the disease. With oral medications he is now able to live a normal life.
A few months after his blood transfusion, Badger found his forever home. He currently lives with 2 other whippets and is a normal healthy happy dog… all thanks to a canine blood donor.
When my dogs donate blood every 6-8 weeks, I think of Badger- a sweet little whippet who was given a second chance at life.
-Julie Fulghum, RVT at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital
Click HERE for more information on how your dog can be a life saver to dogs like Badger.
Last Christmas, client service representative, Kelly, brought home her first real Christmas tree! Her mother was allergic, so she only had fake trees growing up. She excitedly put up her new tree, decorating it to perfection.
A couple hours later, her dog, Sugar, began sneezing. Kelly was disappointed, thinking Sugar was allergic to trees as well. Her house wouldn’t be filled with the smell of pine trees that reminded her of Christmas time. Over the next couple of hours, Sugar’s sneezes became more and more violent until she suddenly let out the sneeze of all sneezes. A mucous-covered pine needle shot out of Sugar’s nose and landed right on Kelly’s couch! “It was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever encountered,” says Kelly. Sugar continued to sneeze throughout the night and into the next morning.
Fearing she had another pine needle lodged in her nose, Kelly brought Sugar in to Kingsbrook Animal Hospital to see her veterinarian. Sugar was put on an antibiotic and an antihistamine and within a few days was feeling much better! You might be a client service representative’s pet if you snort a pine needle!
I adopted Ripken from the Humane Society when he was six months old. He had come in as a six week old puppy who had been hit by a car a few days previously, but had been left in someone’s garage until he seemed like he may die. Only then did they bring him in to the shelter. He had a dislocated hip, a crushed toe, and lots of infected cuts. A local veterinarian nursed him back to health and he went up for adoption at about twelve weeks old. He had several people interested in him, but ultimately he was too boisterous so they ended up choosing other dogs. Finally, at six months old he when he was about to be euthanized, I adopted him. At the time, I was living in an apartment that did not allow dogs, so we moved and he was my best friend for the next nine years. I had my son, Tristan, about five years later, and Ripken was devoted to him.
In June 2013, Ripken was running around in the back yard with Tristan and our other dog, Surge, when I noticed he was lame on his right front leg. He was bearing weight on it, but he would just step a little gingerly when he used it. It was a Saturday, so we decided we would monitor him over the weekend and take him to the veterinarian if needed on Monday. By Monday, he had a large swelling midway up his front leg. We took him to the vet that morning fully expecting that this was something that was fixable. They took him for some x-rays and blood work. When the veterinarian returned, he told us that Ripken had a tumor that was primary osteosarcoma, or bone cancer. We discussed what the possible options were: amputation, chemotherapy, or simply pain management. Unfortunately, due to his hip dysplasia, the vet did not think he would be a good candidate for amputation. Chemotherapy was estimated to give him an additional six months, but even with that, this is an aggressive form of cancer that would likely spread. If we did not do chemotherapy, the veterinarian thought we could keep him comfortable with just pain management for around six weeks until we would need to euthanize. My fiancé, Jason, and I took a couple days to talk about it, since we were both too emotional to make a quick decision. Ultimately, for Ripken and for us, we decided to do pain management for as long as he was comfortable and he still had a good quality of life. This was one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make and sometimes I still question whether it was the right thing. Maybe I should have done the chemotherapy and I would have had him longer. But I continued thinking that longer isn’t always better. Ultimately this cancer would spread and I would still have to say goodbye to my best friend. I just wanted his life to be the best it could possibly be for as long as I could keep it that way. I was worried he would be miserable from the side effects of the chemotherapy and his quality of life would be poor. The veterinarian warned us that waiting too long could result in the tumor growing so large that it would eventually break his leg.
He was on several different pain medications and for four weeks he was his happy, normal self. We waited and watched. I was petting him at the end of those four weeks and when my hand ran over his hips, he yelped. It was rare for him to ever yelp in pain so it caught my attention immediately. He had been bearing more weight on his hind legs over the last couple days to prevent him from needing to put so much weight on that front leg. When Surge was ready to go out and play one day, Ripken just laid on the deck and watched him run around, which was also not at all like him. We called the veterinarian that night to schedule his euthanasia the next day. I didn’t want him to be in pain, so when he started showing me that he was, we knew it was time. The next morning came and he seemed better. He was playing with Surge, not as enthusiastically, but still playing. I started questioning whether we should wait. Ultimately, I wanted to do what was best for my friend and no matter how much it hurt, I owed him the same love and caring he had always shown me. We decided to go through with the euthanasia that day, because even if today was a good day, tomorrow may not be and he was going to have many more bad days than good. He was going to continue to decline, and I didn’t want him to have to suffer through those bad days because I was unable to let go.
We went to the veterinarian. My parents met us there (they were always very firmly cat people, but they attribute Ripken to opening their eyes to how great dogs, especially Pit Bulls can be) so they could say goodbye and take the boys and Surge back to their house where we were going to bury Ripken. Ripken was so excited to see them and he had always loved going to the vet because they gave him lots of treats. He walked into the hospital with Jason and I and greeted everyone, like always. I thought my heart was going to be broken into a million pieces forever, but I was determined not to break down until after he was gone, because he needed me to be strong. He was my rock through many transitions in my life and now it was my time to be his. Ripken was humanely euthanized on July 17, 2013 and was buried at my parents house with a hand carved headstone to mark his grave.
It still hurts. I still miss him every day. They say that time heals all wounds and I don’t know if that is true, but I do know that time makes them more bearable. I would have given anything, paid anything to save my friend and to still have him with me, but that isn’t the reality of pet ownership- we often outlive these incredible creatures with whom we have shared our homes, lives, and love. I believe that we love all our pets, but there are those that we have a special connection with, and Ripken was mine. I feel blessed to have been able to have that connection for the nine years we were together, and I was able to give him a gift in return- I was able to end his suffering in a loving and painless way.
-Katie Bruner, RVT