Monthly Archives: December 2009

Where’s your BFF?

Not your best friend forever – your Black Footed Ferret!
The Black-footed Ferret is the most endangered land mammal in North America. It was declared extinct in 1979 but a live BFF was seen in Oct. 1981. Since it’s observation in 1981, conservation efforts have been implemented to help increase and maintain the population of this small mammal.

The Black Footed Ferret is a member of a large group of mammals known as mustelids, or musk-producing animals. Sixty-four species of mustelids live throughout the world, except on the continents of Australia and Antarctica. Mustelids range in size from the least weasel, which weighs barely 1-2 ounces, to the sea otter, which may weigh over 100 pounds. Most mustelids have long bodies and short legs, well-developed claws, short, rounded ears, and scent glands under the tail. Their large skulls and strong jaws and teeth are adapted for eating meat. Some well-known members of the mustelid family include mink, skunks, badgers, martens, fishers, weasels, stoats, polecats, wolverines, and the European, or domestic ferret, sold in pet stores.

Black-footed ferrets are primarily nocturnal, making direct observation difficult. Most of their daytime activity is limited to the first few hours following sunrise. They spend most of their time underground in prairie dog burrows, typically spending only a few minutes aboveground each day to hunt or find new burrows or, in spring, mates. In burrows they sleep, cache their food, escape from predators and harsh weather, and give birth to their young. Ferrets do not hibernate, but in winter, the amount of time they are active and the distances they travel decrease substantially. They have been found to remain underground in the same burrow system for a week at a time in winter. In contrast, one ferret was observed traveling over six miles in one night during autumn. Males are more active than females and distances traveled by males tend to be about double that of females.

Loss of habitat is the primary reason black-footed ferrets remain near the brink of extinction. Conversion of native grasslands to intensive agricultural uses, widespread prairie dog eradication programs, and the fatal non-native disease plague have reduced ferret habitat to less than two percent of what once existed. Remaining habitat is now fragmented, with prairie dog towns separated by expanses of cropland and human development. Black-footed ferrets also face threats in the wild from predators and disease. Coyotes, great-horned owls, golden eagles, prairie falcons, badgers, bobcats and foxes all prey on ferrets. Several diseases affect black-footed ferrets, the most serious being canine distemper and sylvatic plague.

For more information on the BFF or how you can help save this adorable critter visit the Black-footed Ferret Recovery Program at:

The Clay Owl

Allison Monville Jachowski who worked @ Kingsbrook Animal hospital now has her own pottery buisness.We all have enjoyed her work for a long time and we are all so happy that she is sharing her talent with everyone.
her websight

Holiday Party

The Doctors and staff of Kingsbrook Animal hospital enjoyed a fun filled evening at Bowl 300 for our holiday party. Kelly was the breakout superstar of the evening with 3 strikes in a row , she credits her skill to hours of wii bowling.

Look how big I’ve grown!

Ann Strathern’s golden retreiver that was born at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital by C-section turned 8 weeks today! “Quantum Singularity”, or “Q” for short, has grown into a gorgeous toddler. We are thrilled to see such a healthy boy!

When Good Dogs Eat Bad Things

Top 10 Things Dogs Shouldn’t Eat, but Do

10 things dogs eat, but shouldn’t. It was kind of interesting, but none all to surprising. Here’s his top ten list:

10: Sticks. You bet. They splinter, poke and tear up a gut at times. In my experience, it’s not just the stick, but the peritonitis which may result from the “poke.”

9: Hair ties and hair ribbons. Yes, girls smell better. So do their accessories. Dogs can’t help but like picking these attractive things up and chewing/swallowing them.

8: Bones. We have a lot of barbecues and cookouts around here. Most people know to keep chicken and turkey bones away from pets, but, yes, pork, venison and beef bones can sometimes cause trouble in the intestines of dogs. The best rule? No bones at all.

7: Corn Cobs. Yes, just had one week before last. Funny how they’ll go down an esophagus but get caught in an intestine.

6: Chew Toys. This is unfortunate because these are marketed for dogs to chew on for either dental care or entertainment purposes. I have even seen dentrifice-purposed rope toys in dogs wrap themselves around the intestine, causing strangulation of the bowel in segments once the rope “unwinds.”

5: Balls. Racquetballs, tennis balls, toy rubber balls, yes, I’ve seen them caught in the throat, esophagus, stomach and intestine in my practice life. The good news? At least they light up well on the x-rays.

4: Rocks. Rocks in solitary form or an amalgamation of small rocks together can really clog up the works in an intestine. Why do dogs in particular eat rocks? Do they need minerals? Are they that bored or that hungry? All I know is, they do. The good news diagnostically is that, like bones and balls, these are easily spotted on x-rays.

3: Panty hose. What a fetish! Nylons have an interesting texture. Whether it’s that texture or the scent, we’ve seen our share of these, both wadded up and acting as linear foreign bodies. Some women tell me that we’ve removed some of these weeks after they thought the hose were missing. A testament to malleability, I guess.

2: Briefs/Panties. Equal time for men’s underwear here. I’m talking about tighty-whities in most cases, but, they’re tinted a different color by the time we remove them.

And Number 1? Socks. That’s so common, it’s not surprising. Foot odor is very attractive to dogs, and socks get thrown loosely on the floor, particularly by men.
There you have it, so the next time you just throw your socks on the floor, remember that you might have to have the vet take them out of your dog later! Now you have no excuses for not putting all the dirty laundry in the hamper!

Pet treats may be contaminated with Salmonella

The Food and Drug Administration has issued an alert warning consumers to dispose of pig ears and beef hooves from Pet Carousel because of potential Salmonella contamination. PetSmart recalled two Pet Carousel products in response to the situation.

Pet Carousel distributed the potentially contaminated pig ears and beef hooves nationwide for sale in pet food and retail chain stores. The company sells pig ears under the brand names of Doggie Delight and Pet Carousel. The company sells beef hooves under the brand names of Choo Hooves, Dentley’s, Doggie Delight, and Pet Carousel.

In September, the FDA detected Salmonella organisms during routine testing of pig ears from Pet Carousel. The finding prompted an FDA inspection of the company’s manufacturing facilities. Further testing detected Salmonella organisms in beef hooves, pig ears, and the manufacturing environment. According to the FDA, Pet Carousel manufactured the pig ears and beef hooves under conditions that facilitate cross-contamination within batches or lots.

The FDA has not received any reports of illness in association with these products.
PetSmart’s recall of Pet Carousel products applies only to Dentley’s Bulk Cattle Hoof, bar code 73725703323, and Dentley’s 10 Pack Beef Hooves, bar code 73725736055, that customers purchased between Oct. 2 and Nov. 3. Customers can return the products to any PetSmart store for a complete refund or exchange.

Screening a potential pet sitter

Last-minute travel plans are stressful enough, but finding someone to tend to your pet can add another level of anxiety.

Start with a recommendation from a friend, neighbor, veterinarian, humane society or dog trainer. Make sure your chosen pet sitter is affiliated with a professional pet sitting organization or has solid references. Once you have made a list of trustworthy and reliable sitters in your area, the next step is to call and interview candidates over the phone.

Ask what they charge, how long the visits are, if they are bonded and insured, and if they have any special skills, such as caring for birds or reptiles or veterinary experience. When calling an agency, find out how many pet sitters they employ and their days of operation. Inquire whether they charge extra during the holidays. And make sure you ask them to bring references if you decide you want to meet them in person.

Dr. Jennifer Kim and baby Kaitlyn stopped to visit us! They are both doing very well. Kaitlyn will be 6 months old December 12th.