Monthly Archives: September 2011

Animal Defense Mechanisms

1. Malaysian Ants: When feeling threatened, these ants internally combusts causing their bodies to explode! Contracting their abdomen upon threat, sets off poison filled glands on the sides of their bodies that kills their enemies once they are close enough!

2. Hairy Frog: This weird amphibian purposefully breaks its own leg to signal its body to dispense cat-like claws that pierce through the frogs toe pads once feeling threatened! Their is debate among scientists on whether these claws are retractable or not.

3: Horned Lizard: As its name might imply, this little guy does not use its horns to defend itself. Instead it fills its sinus cavity with pressure upon threat until the blood vessels in its eye burst, spraying blood all over its enemy!

4: Potato Beetle: Look out for their babies! These specie’s little ones cover themselves in their own feces, which are highly toxic, to repel predators!

5: Bombardier Beetle: These small beetle use the power of their behind to ward off threats! It sprays boiling hot toxic bodily fluid from their anus that could nearly melt their enemies!

6: Hog-nose Snake: These smart serpents know how to play dead! They roll over onto their backs and pretend to be dead, in conjunction with excreting a foul odor, so that predators aren’t interested in eating them.

7. Sea Cucumber: Don’t let the harmless name fool you! This deceiving marine creature excretes sticky string-like filaments from its anus to capture predators and shoot toxins at it when attacked.

8. Larks: Ever try singing to an enemy? These courageous birds like to sing to predator birds when being chased as a warning that they will be difficult to capture so watch out!

9: Opossum: They are a creature of many talents! They defend themselves against predators by involuntarily going into a comatose-like state which is triggered by extreme fear making them look dead. Also, they will make themselves drool by working their jaw excessively which gives the signal to predators that it’s sick!

10: Hagfish: Suffocation by ooze…yikes! This strange fish oozes a slimy substance from its pores when under attack that engulfs its predator ultimately suffocating it.


Itching for fall

Autum is actually the peak time for ragweed and mold spores, which are common allergerns for two- and four-leggers alike. If your pet is prone to allergies, follow these tips to avoid potential fall flare-ups:

Mold thrives in decaying vegetation, such as leaves. Once you’ve raked all the leaves from your yard into piles, be sure to bag them up to avoid mold growth.

If your pet is sensitive to allergens, avoid or limit outdoor playtime, especially among the leaves. A good time for outdoor play is after a rainfall.

Bump up the number of baths your pet gets during her peak allergy season. Twice weekly bathing can keep allergen levels down. Using soothing shampoos and creme rinses will help quiet irritated skin.

Fleas and ticks can contribute to =itchy si=kin. Be sure to use a monthly preventative, such as Frontline, regularly.

Add omega-3 fatty acids to your pet’s diet. In addition to contributing to helthy skin, they can be beneficial to your pet’s joints and cognitive function.

If your pet’s itch can’t be easily scratched, visit your veterinarian. Oral antihistamines or steroids may be necessary. For persistant seasonal allergies, consider having your pet tested to determine the source of the trouble.

Fetch 2011 No. 3 issue 9

What is GDV?

What is GDV?

Gastric dilatation is a condition that can develop in many different breeds of dogs. The condition is commonly associated with large meals and causes the stomach to dilate because of food and gas and may get to a point where neither may be expelled. As the stomach begins to dilate and expand, the pressure in the stomach begins to increase. The increased pressure and size of the stomach may have several severe consequences, including preventing adequate blood return to the heart from the abdomen, loss of blood flow to the lining of the stomach, and rupture of the stomach wall. As the stomach expands, it may also put pressure on the diaphragm preventing the lungs from adequately expanding, which leads to decreased ability to maintain normal breathing. Additionally, the stomach can become dilated enough to rotate in the abdomen, a condition called volvulus. The rotation can occasionally lead to blockage to the blood supply to the spleen and the stomach wall requiring surgical removal of the dead tissues. Most of these patients are in shock due to the effects on the
entire body.

Who is at risk?

There is an association in dogs that have a deep chest (increased thoracic height to width ratio), dogs that are fed a single large meal once daily, older dogs and dogs that are related to other dogs that have had the condition. Commonly seen breeds are Great Danes,
Weimaraners, St. Bernards, Irish Wolfhound, Irish setters and Gordon setters. Female and male dogs are represented equally and dogs as young as 10 months and as old as 14 years have been recognized.

What is a Gastropexy?

A gastropexy is where the stomach is tacked to the right side of the abdominal wall, so it cannot shift or twist. The primary indication for gastropexy is to prevent the development or recurrence of gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). Prophylactic gastropexy is currently
being recommended by many veterinary surgeons for breeds at risk for development of the condition or in dogs that have relatives that have been related to others that have had this condition. Prophylactic gastropexy can often be done at the same time as spay/neuter surgeries. For more information on whether a gastropexy may be indicated for your dog, talk to a Kingsbrook staff member.

How do dogs drink?

Why does my dog have all those ridges in the roof of the mouth? Using high speed and x-ray videos, researchers at Harvard have determined that when dogs drink they lift water into their mouth and then use these ridges, really called rugae, to hold the water until they swallow it. For the complete article go to:

The Most Adorable Pets in America

Kudos to Kenny Walter for being featured in the 2011 edition of “The Most Adorable Pets in America”. Kenny has been a patient here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital since March of 2001 when he came in as a little kitten adopted from Frederick County Humane Society. Since then we have gratefully cared for Kenny and are happy to report that he is a very healthy 10 year old kitty with a stellar personality. Congragulations to Kenny and his dedicated owners who take amazing care of him.

Preparing for a bath

Even the cleanest of pets can sometimes need a bath. For dogs, regular bathing can help keep their skin and haircoat healthy. In general, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends bathing your dog about every 3 months; however, certain breeds and dogs that spend a lot of time outside may need to be bathed more often. Cats, on the other hand, generally do not need regular baths—their tongues are designed to be an essential grooming tool. However, there are situations when your cat or dog may need a bath:

• If your pet comes in contact with a potentially hazardous substance or sticky material

• If you are allergic and want to keep pet dander to a minimum

• If your pet goes or gets outside and comes in contact with dirt or fleas

• If a medicated shampoo is prescribed or recommended by us to treat a certain condition

Preparing for a Bath

Try to make bathing a pleasant experience for your pet and for you! If you can teach your pet to enjoy being bathed, it can be another way to strengthen your relationship. However, even the calmest of pets (especially cats) may become stressed around water. Make sure you have everything ready ahead of time to keep bath time as short and relaxed as possible:

A tub (indoors or out) or sink with warm (not hot) water

A spray hose or nozzle or a large plastic pitcher or unbreakable cup

A washcloth for cleaning your pet’s head and face

A rubber bath mat to keep your pet from slipping

A mild shampoo made for dogs or cats (depending on your pet) or the prescribed medicated shampoo

Old clothes to wear (for cat owners, make sure you are protected against scratches and bites)

Plenty of large, absorbent towels and/or a blow dryer, if your pet will tolerate it Toys and treats for rewarding good behavior

It may be beneficial to have another person assist you in restraining your pet dur- ing the bath. If you are comfortable doing so, you can trim your pet’s nails the night before bathing to minimize the chance of scratches. Mats, tangles, and loose hair are also easier to remove by brushing before bathing.

The Bath

• Make sure the water in the tub or sink is not too deep for your pet. For cats and small dogs, 3 to 5 inches of water is enough. Place your pet in the water and, if you have one, use the spray hose to thoroughly wet your pet, being careful not to spray directly in his or her eyes, ears, or nose. If you don’t have a spray hose, use the plastic pitcher, cup, washcloth, or your hands to scoop up the water in the tub.

• Gently massage the shampoo into your pet’s haircoat from head to tail. Follow the labeled instructions carefully. Don’t forget to lather hard-to-reach areas, such as between the legs and the body. Avoid getting any shampoo in your pet’s eyes, ears, nose, or mouth. Use the washcloth to wipe the face/head.

• Thoroughly rinse your pet, again taking care to avoid the ears, eyes, and nose. You may need to drain and refill the sink or tub a few times to make sure you have removed all of the shampoo. Don’t forget to check the feet, under the chin, under the abdomen and chest, and any other areas that can be hard to rinse. Shampoo residues left on the skin and hair can be irritating; cats, in particular, may lick them off later, which can cause illness.

• Dry your pet with the towels or a blow dryer on a low setting. If you use a blow dryer, you may need to slowly introduce your pet to the sound of the dryer. Also, make sure

Try to make bathing a pleasant experience for your pet and for you! If you can teach your pet to enjoy being bathed, it can be another way to strengthen your relationship.

Make sure that the blow dryer air doesn’t get too hot for your pet. If you can only towel dry your pet, be sure to keep him or her in a well- controlled climate until completely dry.

• Give your pet a toy, treat, and/or calm praise as a reward for good behavior.

If you have any questions about bathing your pet or whether he or she needs bathing, please ask! We are happy to help you keep your pet clean and healthy.

Some of the oldest animals on earth…

“There are tortoises alive today that were 25 to 50 years old when Charles Darwin was born. There are whales swimming the oceans with 200-year-old ivory spear points embedded in their flesh. There are cold-water sponges that were filter-feeding during the days of the Roman Empire. In fact, there are a number of creatures with life spans that make the oldest living human seem like a spring chicken in comparison.”

Geoducks: large saltwater clams that are native to the Puget Sound and have been known to live for at least 160 years.

Tuataras: The two species of tuatara alive today are the only surviving members of an order which flourished about 200 million years ago — they are living dinosaurs. They are also among the longest-lived vertebrates on Earth, with some individuals living for anywhere between 100 and 200 years.

Red sea urchin: The red sea urchin is found only in the Pacific Ocean, primarily along the West Coast of North America. It lives in shallow, sometimes rocky, waters. They crawl along the ocean floor using their spines as stilts. Some specimens are more than 200 years old.

Bowhead whales: Also known as the Arctic whale, the bowhead is by far the longest living mammal on Earth. Some bowhead whales have been found with the tips of ivory spears still lodged in their flesh from failed attempts by whalers 200 years ago. The oldest known bowhead whale was at least 211 years old.

Koi: Koi are an ornamental, domesticated variety of the common carp. The are common in artificial rock pools and decorative ponds. Amazingly, some varieties are capable of living more than 200 years.

Tortoises: Tortoises are considered the longest living vertebrates on Earth. One of their oldest known representatives was Harriet, a Galápagos tortoise that died of heart failure at the age of 175 years in June 2006 at a zoo owned by the late Steve Irwin. Harriet was considered the last living representative of Darwin’s epic voyage on the HMS Beagle.

Antarctic sponge: Perhaps due to the extremely low temperatures of the Antarctic Ocean, this immobile creature has an extremely slow growth rate. Some estimate the oldest known specimens are 1,550 years old.

Turritopsis nutricula jellyfish: This species of jellyfish might be the only animal in the world to have truly discovered the fountain of youth. Since it is capable of cycling from a mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage and back again, there may be no natural limit to its life span. “

For the full slide show with pictures, visit

Meet Sophia Loren

Meet Sophia Loren. She came to Kingsbrook Animal Hospital on 8/5/11 through Frederick County Animal Control after they were contacted by someone who found her wondering in a local business parking lot. She is a sweet 9 pound poodle mix that had obviously suffered some serious neglect. She had evenly spaced infected wounds on the side of her neck where something must have been poking into her skin. She was covered from head to toes to the tip of her tail in about 2 inches of solid matts and had to be shaved to the skin. She also had abrasive lesions on her side and knee. She has been adopted by a staff member at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital and is ready to start her life as an 8 year old girl’s “dream dog”. Welcome to the Kingsbrook Animal Hospital family Sophia. We are so glad you found us.