When You’re Back From Vacation—Get Your Pet Vaccinations!

One of the major reasons pet owners bring their fur-babies to the vet is for “routine shots.”  More and more often there are stories on the news about “overvaccination” or disease

KAH technician Nora is showcasing all of the canine vaccine options!

outbreaks. It can be difficult to determine what is best for a beloved pet—to vaccinate, or not to vaccinate? Fortunately, Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick MD is here to weigh in on this important topic: what are vaccines, which ones are available, and which are best for a pet?

Vaccines are substances that stimulate an immune response to

KAH technician Tiki is displaying our cat vaccines!

bacteria or a virus in a pet or person. They do this by tricking the immune system into thinking that the human or animal who received the vaccine has been infected. The immune system prepares a response to that bacteria or virus, and then saves that information in case of “reinfection.” If the immune system is already familiar with an infection, it responds quickly and strongly. This is how vaccinated pets/people are able to fight off things like the flu so much better than those who are not vaccinated. Think of it like knowing there is a pop quiz coming—the immune system is “studying” when it is vaccinated, so it will perform much better on the test than one that is unprepared.

  • Rabies is a zoonotic (will spread to people) virus that causes neurologic complications in affected animals, and it is fatal. For these reasons, rabies vaccination is required by law, even for pets who don’t go outside often. This is because a pet who slips out the door can easily encounter an infected animal—or an infected bat can quickly fly into a home. Rabies vaccines are available for dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, and several other species. Rabies is a

    KAH veterinarian Dr Lynch is giving this kitty a rabies vaccine. Pet vaccines go under the skin, not into the muscle like people vaccines.

    core vaccine.

  • Distemper is the name given to a virus that attacks the respiratory system. For dogs, the distemper vaccine is often combined with parvovirus and adenovirus vaccines (DAP), and for cats it is combined with calicivirus and panleukopenia (FVRCP). All of these viruses are most likely to attack very young or more elderly pets, but they are very easily spread between members of the same species and can quickly cause an outbreak. Distemper is a core vaccine.
  • Leptospiriosis, or “lepto,” is a type of bacteria that attacks the kidneys, nervous system, and liver. Like rabies, it is both zoonotic and fatal. It is spread through the urine of infected animals; in rural areas/suburbs, it is most often found in deer, squirrels, moles, skunks and rabbits, while in more urban areas rodents like mice and rats are the major carriers. Here in Frederick, Lepto is a core vaccine

    KAH veterinarian Dr Walker is giving a distemper vaccine. Please ask a KAH staff member how we can make the vaccine experience FearFree for your pet!

    since we have several documented cases.

  • Lyme is a bacteria that is spread by ticks. It can affect people and dogs but cannot be spread from one to the other without tick involvement—this means that ticks are vectors for Lyme disease. Here in Frederick, the Lyme vaccine is a lifestyle vaccine, because not all dogs may be at risk for Lyme. Those that are not at risk are indoor-only dogs who are current year-round on flea and tick preventative. Remember—only a week-long temperature of -10°F will kill ticks during the winter, otherwise they are just looking even harder for a warm body!
  • Bordetella is better known as “kennel cough.” It spreads very quickly from dog to dog and causes a slight fever along with its hallmark hacking cough. Environments with lots of dogs in tight

    This sweet pup is receiving a vaccine with the help of 2 KAH technicians. If your dog does better for vaccines with you present — speak up!

    quarters, such as day cares and grooming facilities, are where most infections are likely to occur—so this vaccine is a lifestyle vaccine recommended for dogs who board, groom, or go to dog parks or day care.

  • Feline Leukemia, or FeLV, is a virus that is spread from cat to cat via saliva and causes symptoms very similar to leukemia in humans. Also a lifestyle vaccine, FeLV is reccomended only for cats who go outdoors or interact with other cats who do.

That is a lot of information! It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all of the options out there. Please talk to your veterinarian at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital with any questions or concerns.

Firework Fear: Tips On Independence Day Safety From Kingsbrook Animal Hospital

It’s almost that time of year again–the days are long and warm, neighbors are out grilling, and

KAH veterinarian Dr Kemper poses with a patrioic patient!

everyone is gearing up for the celebration of our nation’s independence. Cookouts and picnics inevitably lead up to a big, colorful fireworks display on July 4th… which is so much fun for humans, but can be terrifying for our dogs and cats.

The loud bangs accompanying fireworks sound 4-6 times louder to our canine friends, and up to 8 times louder to cats.  Couple this with changes in routine, new people, and lots of new food/smells… it’s no wonder that the highest percentage of pets go missing around the

KAH CSR Kelly has prepped her pup Sugar for the upcoming fireworks!

Fourth of July.

The very best way to help fur babies with fireworks is counter-conditioning.  This is a series of exercises done at home that gradually acclimate pets to the loud sounds made by fireworks. While this does take some time and some patience, it is definitely the safest way to get dogs or cats through loud noises.  Some in-depth information about counter-conditioning for fireworks (or thunderstorms!) can be found by clicking here.

Fortunately, there are lots of short-term things we can do to help our furry friends get through this holiday in one piece! Below are some recommendaions from Kingsbrook Animal Hospital‘s top-noch veterinarians:

  1.  Leave pets at home, and if possible remain at home with them. This is also a great

    KAH patient Jada is modeling a thundershirt and listening to an iCalmdog. Both of these fear-free methods are used often here at KAH with our patients who spend the day with us.

    opportunity to check the fit of each pet’s collar, verify contact information on collar tags, and make sure all pets are microchipped jus in case the unthinkable happens.

  2. Consider crating pets or confining them to a small, quiet area with a minimum of traffic. Terrified pets will try to bolt, so keeping them away from doors to the outside is key to preventing escapes.
  3.  Provide background noise, such as the television or radio, to help drown out the sounds. For a fear-free approved and portable option, check out the iCalmDog (or iCalmCat).
  4.  Also consider adding pheremone support for anxiety-prone pets. A great option for cats is the Feliway diffuser, and for dogs try Adaptil–either the collar or the diffuser are good choices.
  5. Thundershirts can help to calm an anxious dog or cat. These snug-fitting, adjustable jackets provide a lot of comfort and are infinitely reusable.
  6. Talk to a Kingsbrook Animal Hospital veterinarian about options for medications. There are several new choices that are great for situational anxiety!

For more information, please see the AVMA’s resource on July 4th Safety and the article on Fireworks Fear from the Fear Free organization.

 

 

A New Bunny Bestie? Kingsbrook Animal Hospital Explores Rabbits and Guinea Pigs as Pets

Springtime is all about new beginnings, and for many families this is the perfect time to add a new, furry member. For those who aren’t ready or able to care for a dog or a cat, “pocket pets” are a frequent starting point.  Although they are adorable and offer lots of love, these smaller pets are not always the easiest to care for! Here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD the two pocket pets we see the most are rabbits and guinea pigs.

Rabbits

KAH’s Dr Lynch cuddles bunny patient Snickers.

While some rabbits do fine outdoors, it is best for rabbits to live inside. For optimal room to move about, 12 square feet (3’ x 4’) are needed for every 5lbs of rabbit—and in order to keep their feet healthy, they need a solid-bottomed cage (not the wire cages so often seen in the pet stores).  Bunnies can be litterbox trained, which frees them up to roam around a room or a floor of the house under supervision. This exercise is important for maintaining a healthy GI tract.

Speaking of GI tracts, rabbits need to eat constantly. While those pelleted diets are tasty, they aren’t all created equal. Look for a high-quality timothy-based diet—we love Oxbow Bunny Basics. While these pellets provide lots of nutrients, the most important thing a rabbit can eat is hay! Every bunny should have access to

KAH assistant Kayla poses with adorable Nittany while she was here for her annual exam.

an unlimited supply of clean, fresh timothy hay. Fresh greens are an important part of each rabbit’s diet, too, but take care to avoid anything high in calcium (such as spinach and kale) to prevent urinary problems. Sugary foods like sweet potatoes, apples and carrots can cause GI stasis, a painful and life-threatening condition where the intestinal tract basically shuts down.

Another consideration for prospective bunny owners is altering. Intact rabbits are prone to behavioral problems and cancer—80% of intact female rabbits will develop mammary cancer, which spreads rapidly and is usually fatal. If trying to house a pair of male rabbits together, neutering both is vital to prevent fighting.

Guinea Pigs

KAH assistants Emily (left) and Caitlynn (right) pause for a photo with a guinea pig patient Chandler.

Guinea pigs (or “cavies”) are similar, but not identical, to rabbits. They also require a solid-bottomed cage, but for these critters, substrate is extremely important.  Guinea pigs cannot have any wood shavings that contain aromatic oils, such as cedar or pine; the oils produce a toxic gas when they mix with guinea pigs’ urine. Cavies are very susceptible to upper respiratory issues and need a clean, dust-free environment—for this reason, recycled paper (e.g. Carefresh) is the best substrate choice.

As far as food, guinea pigs require a nonstop supply of fresh timothy hay just like their bunny cousins. However, guinea pigs cannot produce their own Vitamin C (just like people!) so it is very important that they eat a guinea pig-specific pelleted food, which needs to be stored in the dark to protect the Vitamin C. Fresh fruits and veggies such as oranges and romaine lettuce are great additions to a cavy’s diet and can help boost Vitamin C intake—optimally, guineas should

Joey the guinea pig came to visit KAH with his brother Chandler. We interrupted his hay-munching to snap a photo!

receive the Oxbow Natural Science Vitamin C supplement daily to ensure they’re getting enough of this critical nutrient. Also, like rabbits, high levels of calcium and sugar in a guinea pig’s diet are very dangerous, so it’s best to avoid foods or treats rich in these.

Here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital, we love fur-babies of all sizes! Our veterinarians and staff are available and happy to assist with any questions a new bunny or cavy owner might have!

“Domestic Dinosaurs:” Kingsbrook Animal Hospital Explores Reptiles As Pets

Looking for a pet that is hypoallergenic, quiet, and a great conversation starter? Reptiles are quickly gaining popularity as pets–but that doesn’t mean that they are a great fit for everyone. The most common reptiles we see here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD are bearded dragons and leopard gecko.

KAH assistant Karah’s beardie Amelia is soaking up the sun outside!

Bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragons, or “beardies,” are desert reptiles that originate from Australia.  They prefer drier climates and hot temperatures. Bearded dragons can reach 24 inches when fully grown and a healthy beardie can live up to 15 years!

Housing:

Juvenile bearded dragons may be small, but they grow relatively quickly. A full-grown bearded dragon needs a 75 gallon tank!  Substrate for the bottom of the tank can be newspaper, paper towels, or reptile pellets; sand is not ideal, due to the risk of impaction upon digestion.

KAH’s own Dr. Cardella poses with a beardie patient!

Lighting is extremely important for the health of a bearded dragon. UVB lighting is essential and should be available to beardies 12 hours each day. Being desert animals, they thrive in 90-100 degree temperatures–use temperature gauges to be sure heat is adequate. Basking spots should be available and can be a hide, reptile corkboard, or a reptile log. Heat rocks are not safe, as a beardie that rests on one can incur painful burns on their bellies and toes! Bearded dragons should have a warm side and a cool side to their habitat. A heat mat can be used under the tank to allow the temperature to stay within range of 75-80 degrees overnight.

Feeding:

Happy, healthy beardies eat a diet of both insects and veggies, and have access to UVB lighting.

Beardies are omnivores and require a variety of foods. Talking with your veterinarian at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital is important to help find the correct ratio that works for a bearded dragon’s current age–growing beardies have different needs from adults. A few examples of the foods these guys enjoy include: hornworms, crickets, waxworms, collard greens, turnip greens, cabbage, and bell peppers. Juvenile beardies should eat twice daily, whereas older beardies eat about once a day. Bearded dragons may thrive in desert conditions, but water is still important for our captive beardies! Always have fresh water available in a bowl that is easily accessible for them, and it can be helpful to occasionally mist their habitat.

Leopard Geckos

Housing:

KAH technician Morgan poses with a leopard gecko. These are unique and fascinating pets with a lot of specific husbandry needs!

Leopard geckos reach a size of 10 inches, and live an average of 8-12 years in captivity.  Males usually fight with one another, so only one male can live in each tank with 20 gallons being the smallest tank size advisable.  Like beardies, leopard geckos need a warm environment (88-90 degrees) and a temperature gradient (the cool end should be no less than 75 degrees), and they are also prone to burns from heat rocks.

Since geckos are only active at night, they do not need UVB lighting–but they can benefit from it. Leopard geckos do need a “hide” for the daytime such as a cave or a hut, and ideally this should contain moss or another material that retains humidity. Overnight heat is important for leopard geckos too. They do well with a felt substrate, artificial turf, or newspaper flooring in their habitat, and leopard geckos will actually designate a “potty” corner of their tank all by themselves–this makes for easy cleanup.  Just like bearded dragons, sand is not a good substrate because of the dangers associated with accidentally ingesting it.

Feeding:

Dr Cardella is examining this leopard gecko’s eyes. Improper substrates or humidity can affect a gecko’s ocular health.

Leopard geckos are strict insectivores, and thrive on a diet of live crickets and mealworms.
Insects should be “gut-loaded” (which means they are fed a high-protein and high-nutrient powder for at least 12 hours before being offered to a reptile) and can be “dusted” with a calcium/vitamin powder to ensure the gecko is getting enough of these nutrients. Geckos will also lick up a supplement on their own if it is available in their habitat. Like beardies and all animals, leopard geckos should always have fresh water available in an easily-accessible bowl.

 

Spring (Cleaning) Has Sprung: Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s Top 5 Must-Clean Items This Spring

The weather is (slowly) getting warmer and everyone is anxious to get back outside! Even here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital, that means it’s time to give everything a thorough scrubbing. Here are the top 5 pet items not to overlook during a thorough Spring Cleaning:

  • Pet Bowls

Did you know that a study done by the National Safety Federation found that pet bowls are the 4th germiest item in the home? Gross! If pet bowls are dishwasher safe, place them on the top rack for an easy clean. Otherwise, wash with hot water and a mild detergent (Dawn® is great & gets rid of stuck on debris!). Aim to wash all pets’ bowls daily.

  • Toys

KAH CSR Kelly’s pooch Sugar can rest easy knowing her toys are all clean for spring!

Pet toys are the 7th germiest item, according to the same National Safety Federation study. It makes sense – those toys spend a lot of time in your pet’s mouth! Rubber toys can easily be cleaned & sanitized in the top rack of a dishwasher. Fabric toys can be hand washed with hot water and a mild detergent, or tossed in the washing machine if they’re more durable. Remember to be sure fabric toys are thoroughly dry before giving them back to Fido or Fluffy. This is also an opportunity to evaluate the types of toys pets have–are they too hard, posing a chew hazard? Is there a rip in a seam, exposing that “tasty” stuffing and squeaker? Replace any damaged or risky toys for safety.

  • Bedding

Pets often bring dirt, debris & allergens in to your house after playing outside. These things can accumulate on your pet’s bedding, creating the perfect environment for germs. Bedding can be vacuumed to get rid of hair & debris. All bedding should be washed weekly with hot water & a mild detergent. Again, be sure bedding is completely dry before returning it to a pet. Also, try wiping off those furry feet each time pets come inside to reduce the amount of dirt/allergens tracked in.

  • Litterbox

Ideally, every litterbox should be thoroughly cleaned weekly-monthly, depending on how often it is scooped out and how many cats are in the house. To clean & sanitize, toss all litter and allow the litterbox to soak in hot, soapy water for 10 minutes. Make sure to use a non-scented soap, as strong odors of any kind can deter cats from using the box! Don’t forget to clean the lid (if there is one) and the litter scoop. Allow box to dry completely before adding litter. Best practice is to replace each litterbox every 6 months.

  • Collars

KAH CSR Tiffany is giving her fur-baby Jorie a bath. This is a great time to clean that dog collar!

We know to bathe pets regularly, but when’s the last time that collar was cleaned? This is often forgotten during regular grooming.  Collars can accumulate dirt and grime quickly, potentially causing skin irritation & infections…but spring is the perfect chance to get that collar squeaky clean again! Put some hot water in a bowl and add a small amount of pet shampoo. Allow the collar to soak for 15 minutes and let it air dry completely before replacing it. Remember that only 2 fingers should fit between the collar and the pet’s neck…any less is too tight, and any more means your pet could easily slip out of it. While you are cleaning the collar(s), make sure pets stay indoors or have backup collar(s). This is also a great time to think about a microchip! 

As always, please ask a staff member at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital any questions about cleaning products, toys, or anything pet-related…we are here to keep pets happy and healthy!

Kingsbrook Animal Hospital Discusses Anesthesia-Free Dentistry

You know this story already: You bring your pet to Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD for a routine check-up. You’re feeding a good diet and your fur-baby is healthy and happy—everything should be smooth sailing, right? Then, while the technician is looking in your pet’s mouth, you hear these words: “It looks like Fluffy would really benefit from a professional cleaning.”

For some pet parents, this can conjure up memories of trips to the dentist, financial concerns, or even fears about anesthesia. So, it’s completely understandable that anesthesia-free dentistry (a new movement in veterinary medicine) sounds so appealing…but is it too good to be true?

There are many benefits to anesthetized oral cleanings. Below, we explore 4 key points to consider when deciding what’s best for your furry friend.

  1. Oral examinations under anesthesia are more complete and thorough. They include looking

    KAH’s Dr Cardella is able to perform a full oral examination with her patient under anesthesia.

    at the palate (roof of the mouth), the throat and tonsils, the tongue and all of the mucous membranes inside the oral cavity. Sometimes this uncovers other concerns, like something lodged in the folds of the palate or a cut. It also allows the health care team to visualize and probe each tooth—are any broken? Missing? Extra? Discolored? Loose? Attempting a full oral exam of an awake pet is impractical and is stressful for him/her.

  2. The plaque and tartar up under the gumline are far more

    KAH technician Rush is performing an oral cleaning, which includes scaling teeth below the gumline.

    unhealthy than the visible buildup on the crown of the teeth. The area where the tooth meets the gums (the gingival sulcus) is where the bacteria that cause periodontal disease live. Cleanings under anesthesia include a thorough scaling and polishing of the subgingival space. Awake pets do not usually allow subgingival cleaning—especially if a tooth is painful.

  3. Oral cleanings under general anesthesia include full digital dentalradiographs. Two-thirds of every dog or cat tooth is root,

    Here, Rush is preparing to ake a dental x-ray, which will let the doctor see the roots of the teeth.

    which means it is below the gumline. This allows the veterinarian to see the entire tooth, and can reveal issues like tooth root abscess, root resorption, retained baby teeth, and bone loss. These things can absolutely impact the long-term overall health of a pet! Because of the positioning and the complete stillness needed for good images, it’s impossible to get dental x-rays on an awake pet.

  4. Cleanings under anesthesia are stress-free to the pet, and are not

    KAH technician Sam is helping Carter recover from anesthesia–he is snug and warm in his blanket!

    uncomfortable for them. Even the best-behaved and most tolerant pet can be worried or stressed by the process of cleaning teeth. From the continual rinsing, to the scraping sensation of the instruments, to the noise of a polisher – it’s a lot of new stimulations, sounds, and sensations. Additionally, pets are often asked to hold their heads or mouths in a certain way for a period of time while the cleaning takes place.

We know that everyone wants what is safest and best for their pets, so we are happy to help provide information so each client can make an informed, educated decision. As always, please ask your veterinarian or technician at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital any questions about oral cleanings and care!

Kingsbrook Animal Hospital Celebrates National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week

Kingsbrook CSR Nina quickly poses for a photo before delivering Howl-O-Ween goodies to our friends at Frederick County Animal Control.

There is no better gift to a homeless animal than giving them a second chance at life!  Shelters and rescues across the country work tirelessly to provide animals in need a safe place to sleep, Kingsbrook CSR Nina quickly poses for a photo before delivering some Howl-O-Ween goodies to our friends at FCAC to eat, provide veterinary care and ultimately find their fur-ever home.  According to the Humane Society of the United States, “approximately 3,500 animal shelters across the United States serve the estimated 6-8 million homeless animals who need refuge each year.”

In celebration of National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week, we at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD, invite everyone to take some extra time this week to show

FCAC has many adorable dogs and cats available for adoption!

your local animal shelter or rescue some love.  A good place to start is Frederick County Animal Control, our local animal shelter.  FCAC is always in need of the help of volunteers and their time.  For anyone who is unable to volunteer but would still like to donate supplies, it’s easy to call and find out what FCAC needs! Monetary donations are always appreciated, as well as food, toys, and bedding…and it’s also possible to give a token of gratitude for the volunteers and employees by dropping off some human treats (like Nina did!) or some recognition on social media.  For FCAC’s contact information, click here.

Fortunately for the abundance of animals, there are other rescues and shelters in the Frederick area. These organizations not only work to help homeless animals within their community, they also help save lives during natural disasters.  This past September

Kingsbrook CSR Tiffany meets Frank, one of the Beagle Bed & Breakfast rescue dogs.

during Hurricane Florence, countless animals from the Carolinas were in dire need of aid.  Many of the shelters in the affected area needed to be evacuated, and sadly, many animals are humanely euthanized in these events.  Two local Frederick rescues, City Dogs Rescue and Capitol Canines interceded to clear the Carolina shelters and save many dogs from being euthanized.  Both rescues contacted Megan Purtell, owner of the Beagle Bed & Breakfast and foster mom. In less than a month, Megan took in about 20 dogs that were transported from the Carolinas.  Thankfully, many were quickly adopted and lots of folks were able to donate supplies and their time by feeding and walking the dogs, cleaning kennels, and organizing donated food and supplies. Since Megan is a longtime client at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital, some of our staff members were fortunate enough to meet a few of these special dogs.

Kingsbrook veterinarian says hello to Chance, a City Dogs rescue pup from North Carolina.

While natural disasters do not happen frequently, every day there are more and more animals and rescues that need our help.  This year, consider adopting or fostering a homeless animal.  Empower yourself through social media to connect and share information with your friends and family about your favorite shelters or animals!  There is never too little or too much we can do to show our local shelters and rescues that we care and support them.

Once Upon A Time…The History of Kingsbrook Animal Hospital

Dr Cook still has the original newspaper article detailing KAH’s opening!

In 1998, Dr. Morse Davis and Dr. Brent Cook were looking for a place to begin their own veterinary practice. Both graduates of The Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine, each had worked in Maryland for several years, and they were ready to set out on the adventure of practice ownership. They searched in West Virginia, in Montgomery County Maryland, and even in Pennsylvania to find just the right spot. On their way home from such a trip, Dr. Cook noticed a new strip mall being built on New Design Road in Frederick. He and Dr. Davis contacted the landlord right away, and before they knew it, Kingsbrook Animal Hospital was opening its doors!

Dr Cardella and Dr Cook visited KAH several times during construction!

KAH began on March 15, 1999 as a three-doctor practice, with Dr. Cardella working part-time alongside Dr. Cook and Dr. Davis. The focus was on providing the best-quality medicine for our patients, while building real relationships with our clients and establishing a presence in the community. Over the coming years, Dr. Davis travelled to New York to assist with 09/11 cleanup and rescue, and the hospital staff participated in the Paws & Claws 5K run as well as open houses at Frederick County Animal Control. In 2004, Kingsbrook Animal Hospital achieved accreditation with the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), a third-party nonprofit organization that only certifies animal hospitals that maintain the highest standards of veterinary care.

KAH staff celebrated the hospital’s AAHA accreditation in 2004

Word spread of the excellent care received at KAH, to the point where we needed more help. Dr. Jennifer Walker was hired in June of 2009 so that we could continue to accommodate new patients and clients. One of our former veterinary assistants, Dr. Jenny Lynch, graduated from veterinary school in 2011 and returned to Kingsbrook to work as a veterinarian. We started our Vet Academy program for kids interested in veterinary medicine in 2012. By 2015, we had 6 veterinarians, 5 Customer Service Representatives, and 15 technicians/assistants….and we were still growing!

By 2015 KAH boasted 7 doctors–a big jump from the 3 we had in 1999!

Dr. Cook and Dr. Davis started thinking about finding some more space for their growing practice. Fortunately, around that time the dry cleaner next door decided not to renew their lease. We were easily able to acquire the space, and we are so pleased to announce that we are expanding! In addition to “next door” we have also added ~1,000 square feet to the back of the existing hospital. Construction officially began on July 9, 2018 and is slated to take about a year to complete. We will be adding a new suite to accommodate our oral evaluations & cleanings, and several more exam rooms to help make space for appointments.

Since construction is happening in our existing space as well as the new areas, we may be temporarily losing some space before we get to expand! We are grateful to all of our clients for being so patient and understanding.  We are so excited to share all of our new “bells and whistles” with our extended KAH family!

Dr Cook and Dr Davis holding KAH’s 1999 blueprints

Dr Cook and Dr Davis with 2018’s blueprints

Getting To The Heart Of The Issue: KAH Talks About Feline Heart Disease

Cats are very resilient creatures, but they are still prone to certain health issues…one of the most common being heart disease. There are multiple types of heart disease, and as a cat-mom or cat-dad it can be devastating to learn that a beloved feline has such a serious health issue. Fortunately, the veterinary community has learned a lot about this problem over the past few years, and it continues to be a major focus of study. There are even

Dr. Lynch’s own kitty, Cricket, had heart issues, so this is a topic near and dear to her…heart. 🙂

dedicated pet cardiologists—we are lucky enough to have an office right here in Frederick!

To learn more about feline heart disease, we sat down with Dr. Jenny Lynch, one of Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s amazing veterinarians. Keep reading for some answers to the most commonly asked questions about heart disease in cats!

  1. What causes heart disease in cats? Is there anything that can prevent it?
    Dr. JL: Heart disease in cats can be caused by a taurine deficiency; lack of this amino acid can cause eye problems as well, so it is important to feed a diet with plenty of taurine in it! There are also certain breeds of cats that are genetically predisposed to heart disease, such as Maine Coons and other “fancy” cats.
  2. The veterinarian heard a heart murmur during my cat’s physical exam. What does this mean?
    Dr. JL: It could mean a lot of different things.  A heart murmur means that there is increased turbulence of blood flow through the heart.  This can sometimes be caused by anemia (a low red blood cell count) or by a systemic issue like hyperthyroidism or hypertension. Even a very high heart rate can cause a murmur. But sometimes a heart murmur is the first indication of heart disease.  It is very important to follow up on a heart murmur, because untreated heart disease causes blindness, congestive heart failure, blood clots that may lead to stroke or paralysis, collapse, and eventually loss of the pet’s life.
  3. What is the next step if my cat is diagnosed with a heart problem?

    Finding out a pet has heart disease can be scary. The caring staff at KAH is here to help!

    Dr. JL: The next step is to determine the cause of the heart murmur.  Visit the cardiologist for an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound of the heart. The cardiologist will measure the heart muscle and look at each of the valves of the heart to find the source of the murmur. Bloodwork can help to rule out anemia and hyperthyroidism, and there is even a special blood test that can be done to measure heart muscle damage.
    4. My kitty acts completely fine at home. How can I tell if s/he has heart disease?
    Dr. JL: Unfortunately, cats tend not to show symptoms of heart disease. The best thing to do is bring cats for regular check-ups at the vet; annually until they are 7 or 8 years old, then

    Monitoring cats for signs of heart disease starts at their first visit! Dr Kemper says little Molly’s heart sounds great.

    twice a year so we can stay on top of any potential issues. Early detection and intervention can slow the progression of heart disease and will add a few more quality years to a kitty’s life.
    5. Where can I find more information about this issue?
    Visit the CVCA website, or the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) website–and any of our veterinarians here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital are happy to answer any questions!

Happy Bird Day From Kingsbrook Animal Hospital!

Mo really loves his morning coffee!

At Kingsbrook Animal Hospital, we are very proud of our clients, our doctors, and our staff. This “KAH Pride” also includes our very own Mo!
When our hospital opened in Frederick, MD back in 1998, our doctors rescued four lovebirds and brought them here to help welcome clients to the hospital. Their names were Larry, Curly, Bob…and Mo.

 

Many worried or scared patients seek out Mo while they’re waiting in the lobby.

Mo’s cagemates were not very friendly towards him, and Mo ended up living on his own for a while. Over the next five years the other birds all passed away, and Mo was quite happy to move to “the big cage” out in the lobby in 2003! From his “perch” in the corner (you caught us, pun intended) Mo loves to welcome everyone to the hospital and to help comfort patients who are worried while waiting for their exams.

Over the years, Mo has had many adventures. Once, he was chased by a cat who escaped from his carrier, and was saved just in the nick of time by Eileen (a former CSR). This may have been the start of Mo’s legendary love of blondes!

 

Mo loves to be the first to tell Santa Paws what’s on his Christmas List!

Mo has always been the first patient to visit with Santa Paws every year. He is always excited to welcome all of our photo shoot guests and to help advertise the event. He has been in countless KAH Facebook posts, Instagram updates, blogs, and educational videos about caring for birds.  He really loves the camera!
One of Mo’s not-so-hidden talents is picking the Superbowl winner–with amazing accuracy! Videos of Mo selecting who will take home the Lombardi can be found on the Kingsbrook Animal Hospital Facebook page.

 

Mo even created his own logo while working towards becoming an official Angry Bird!

Fun fact–Mo also spent some time campaigning to be the next official Angry Bird. While he wasn’t the winner, all of KAH’s staff agrees that he has become a bit more temperamental over the years.

Occasionally, he will still select a new “favorite” person; for example, when Dr. Kemper began working at Kingsbrook, Mo took an instant shine to him.

 

 

Over the years, Mo has had some interesting interior design selections. Sometimes he absolutely loves his new perches or toys, and sometimes he seems almost afraid of them. In one particular instance, Mo was given a brand-new perch right before closing time–which he stared at quite suspiciously and proceeded to avoid completely. However, when our staff members came in to work the next day, Mo had gotten water on the perch and had turned himself completely blue!

Almost every Kingsbrook Animal Hospital staffer has a story or two about our beloved mascot. Stop in and visit with our iconic lovebird, and feel free to grab a selfie!