Monthly Archives: January 2012

Environmental Awareness

It is a hot topic in our nation and people on many levels are trying to be more aware of their carbon foot print.
From at home recycyling programs to major corporations making an effort to reduce, reuse and recycle we have come a long way but still have a lot of work to do.

Kingsbrook Animal Hospital like any other small business uses a lot of resources on a daily basis to conduct our business. As a small business we have tried to minimize our carbon foot print by implementing the use of many environmentally friendly products such as Biokleen floor and surface cleaner and laundry detergent, Ecover cream scrub, glass cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner and fabric softner, Marcal toilet paper, Seventh Generation paper towels, and Earth Friendly Products dish soap.

We also recycle as many resources in the hospital as we can. We recycle plastic, metal, paper and cardboard. We encouraged our property manager to install a cardboard recycling bin in our waste collection area which is now being used by us as well as the other businesses in our center.

No act is too small and we as a community should all take part and do what we can. Here are some helpful online resources.

Check Your Vaccine Routine

While today’s cat and dog vaccines are extremely safe, there’s a growing concern about ovarvaccination and potential problems this may be causing in our pets. The majority of core vaccinesfor cats and dogs in the U.S. are approves for every three years. While the vaccines may work for longer than three years in many individuals, this is the minimum amount of time they’ve been shown to be effective. It’s basically a safety net to make sure all pets are protected, regardles of their individual immune responses.

So, how would we know if your dog has an immune repsonse to distemper that lasts five years instead of three? It is possible to test the level of antibiodies in the bloodstream of some of these diseases. Of course, this is not a perfect system and circulating antibodies do not necessarily mean there is an adequate immune response (esentially, there are just too many “moving parts” for this to be a direct relationship).

However, testing these antibody levels can give us enough information that many veterinarians are comefortable foregoing some annual vaccinations. The specific tests are called antibody titers-the blood is diluted, or “titrated,” and then tested at each dilution level until it tests negative for antibodies. Positive tests at a high level of dilution (a high titer) indicate a higher level of antibodies in the blood.

While many pet parents (and veterinarians!) are comfortable receiving core vaccines at regular intervals, antibody titers offer a possible alternative. As with many areas of veterinary medicine, interpretation of vaccine titers is a contentious issue-discuss it with your veterinarian to see wether they feel it might be a viable option for you and your pets.

Fetch 2011 no.2 issue 9

Urban Potty Adventures

When you gotta go, you gotta go. But’s that easier said than done when you’ve got four paws in the heart of a sprawling metropolis. Housebreaking a puppy or newly adopted adult dog can be a frustrating challenge, especially when you add in the element of an urban environment.

it’s a (concrete) jungle out there
As with housebreaking a puppy anywhere, urban pet parents should rely on a consistent schedule and lots of patience. Expect your new addition to make mistakes, especially early in the training. And expect housebreaking to take at least a month, often more (especially if your new dog is an adult). While your dog is learning when and where to eliminate, it is important that you either actively watch him, or keep him in the comfort of his crate to avoid unwanted accidents.

out of bounds
One drawback of housebreaking in a condo or apartment can be a lack of quick access to the outdoors. In the early stages of housebreaking in the city, it’s best to have a backup potty place indoors, such as a piddle pad, for your puppy to use if he can’t get outside in time.

holding their own
Remember that puppies can’t be expected to hold their bladders as long as adult dogs. A good rule of thumb is one hour more than your pup’s month of age. When it’s time, take your pup outside to the same spot each time. Talk to your dog and let him know that it’s time to go potty, using the smae phrase each time to cue him. Praise him when he’s done a good job, and reward him afterwards with playtime or a long walk.

are we there yet?
If your pet is new to city living, you may face and additional challenge-the lack of green space. Many dogs understand that grassy areas are the place to go, and a move to the concrete jungle can be confusing. In these cases, find the closest dog park or grassy area (not the nearest flower bed if you’d like your neighbors to welcome you) and gradually acclimate your dog to city life.

no train, no gain
Many urban dwellers can train their dogs to use a litter box, much like a cat. Real or artificial grass boxes are available and can be very convenient, especially on cold winter nights. Don’t let this stop you from continuing training, though, so your pet understands it is also apporpriate (and preferred) to go outdoors.

Fetch 2011 No. 3 Issue 9

Cold Weather Tips From ASPCA

Brrrr—it’s cold outside! The following guidelines will help you protect your companion animals when the mercury dips.

Keep your cat inside. Outdoors, felines can freeze, become lost or be stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to infectious diseases, including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wildlife.

During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.

Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm, dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags.

Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.

Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.

Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.

Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.

Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him, and his fur, in tip-top shape.

Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center more information.

Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.

White House Responds to Citizen Petition to Stop Puppy Mills FROM ASPCA

In the final days of 2011, the White House issued an official response to the online petition asking President Obama to crack down on puppy mills. The petition focused on the loophole in the federal Animal Welfare Act that allows high-volume breeders who sell puppies online and directly to the public to avoid inspections and basic oversight. The response, signed by Rebecca Blue, United States Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, outlines the USDA’s plans to improve oversight of commercial dog breeders and to issue new rules to regulate those who sell puppies over the Internet.

“The existing regulations were drafted pre-Internet. They allow many commercial breeders to operate without a license and without any inspections—meaning they are not accountable to anyone for their breeding and care standards,” says Cori Menkin, Senior Director of the ASPCA’s Puppy Mills Campaign. “The ASPCA is encouraged that the USDA has committed to help end the suffering of millions of breeding dogs and protect consumers by finally closing this loophole.”

The petition was posted in September 2011 by The Humane Society of the United States, The Humane Society Legislative Fund and the ASPCA. More than 32,000 Americans signed on, making it one of the most popular petitions on the White House’s We the People website.

To learn more about the ASPCA’s campaign to eradicate puppy mills, please

What Foods to Avoid in Dogs

You’ve probably heard it a thousand times before, but just in case you HAVEN’T heard it- here is a list of foods that WE love, but are poisonous for our dogs.

Not to rush it- but the holidays will be here before we know it and these are generally the peak times for our loved furry ones to get into these listed types of foods, so now seems as good a time as any for a quick reminder.

Alcoholic Beverages: May cause intoxication, coma, and/or death

Avocados: contains persin which may cause vomiting and diarrhea

Chocolate: contains a chemical compound that is both a heart stimulant and diuretic which maybe fatal(not to mention at holiday time the foil and wrappings chocolate comes packaged in is harsh on the digestive system and can get blocked)

Coffee, Tea and Other caffeinated drinks; caffeine of any kind can be toxic to the heart and nervous system

Fat Trimmings: can cause pancreatitis- an inflammatory process of the pancreas that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and severe abdoinal pain

Grapes: contains and unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys, potentially causing renal failure

Hops: contains an unknown compound causing panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures and potentially death

Macadamia Nuts: contains an unknown toxin that can cause paralysis and damage to the nervous system

Mushrooms: may contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death

Yeast Dough: the active yeast culture can cause gas in the digestive tract, creating gastric distress and possible digestive tract ruptures

Onions and Garlic: contain sulfoxides and disulfides that can cause damage to red blood cells potentially causing anemia

Nutmeg: if eaten in large amounts, this oil can cause vomiting and abdominal pain as well as central nervous system excitation

Potato Peelings, Rhubarb and Tomato Leaves: contain oxalates which can cause problems with digestive nervous and urinary tract systems

Sweeteners (Xylitol): can cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can result in vomiting, weakness and collapse. In high doses can cause liver failure.

Raisins: see grapes

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435

Maryland Sled Dog Adventures

We are a small micro mushing kennel of six Siberian Huskies and husky mixes. Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC is central Maryland’s only dog sled touring operation.Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC is fully insured and is a licensed Nature Tourism provider with the state of MD.

For more information, go to

Thirst for more

Some things just weren’t designed to last forever. No, I’m not talking about your dishwasher! I’m referring to the kidneys of our companion animals and, more specifically, our feline friends. While age-related kidney disease does occur in dogs, cats are much more commonly affected. Chronic renal failure (CRF) is one of the most common diseases in cats over 10 years of age.

Signs of early disease can often be picked up in routine bloodwork. For this reason, many veterinarinas recommend routine blood screenings every year once a cat reaches the age of eight. These routine tests are important because catching the disease early leads to the most successful long term treatment.

Signs you would see at home are, most commonly, increased volume of urine in the litter box (or elsewhere) and increased thirst. In fact, increased thirst is one of the more noticable signs that something may be wrong. You may also notice weight loss, vomiting, lethargy and abnormal behavior, like hiding.

The silver lining is that with regular monitoring by your vet and a sharp eye at home, CRF that is caught early can be successfully treated for many years. Treatment focuses on a change in diet, controlling any contributing factors (like hyperthyroidism or high blood pressure) and fluid replacement therapy (which can often be performed at home). Some facilities are also offering treatments akin to those available for humans, like kidney transplants and dialysis. Your veterinarian can help to let you know what is available and whether she feels it would be suitable for your pet.

Fetch Spring/Summer 2010

More Aflatoxin-Related Dog Food Recalls Revealed

Food Recalls

More Aflatoxin-Related Dog Food Recalls Revealed

by News Desk | Dec 29, 2011

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration posted two dog food recall notices on its website Wednesday, including one dated Dec. 12 and an “updated” alert dated Dec. 14, more than two weeks ago.

Both recalls of dry dog food were the result of elevated levels of aflatoxin, caused by fungus on grains such as corn that in significant quantities can cause liver damage in pets. These recalls are apparently related to the Dec. 7 announcement by manufacturer Cargill Animal Nutrition that it was pulling dry dog food off the market because of excess amounts of aflatoxin.

Aflatoxin, which cannot exceed 20 parts per billion under FDA standards, has been found in levels above that in dog food produced at Cargill’s plant in LeCompte, LA and in Iams puppy food manufactured by Proctor and Gamble in Henderson, N.C. Advanced Animal Nutrition recalled its Dog Power food, also for elevated aflatoxins.

All the companies have said that, to date, no illnesses or adverse affects have been reported in connection with the recalled dog food, but did not explain why dog food was on the market for more than a year before it was tested for aflatoxins.

O’Neal’s Feeders Supply of DeRidder, LA, said it has recalled dry Arrow Brand dog food manufactured over an entire year — between Dec. 1, 2010, and Dec. 1, 2011 — because it contains corn detected to have higher than acceptable levels of aflatoxin.

O’Neals said the recall applies only to dog food distributed in Louisiana and Texas with packaging date codes lot numbers 4K0341 through 4K0365 and 04K1001 through 4K1325.

It said retailers have already been instructed to remove the following affected brands and products from store shelves:

— ARROWBRAND 21% Dog Chunks SKU #807 40 lb. bag

— ARROWBRAND Super Proeaux Dog Food SKU #812 40 lb. bag

— ARROWBRAND Professional Formula Dog Food SKU #814 50 lb. bag

Consumers may return the recalled dog food – in opened or unopened packages – to the place of purchase for a full refund. For more information contact 800-256-2769 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Petrus Feed and Seed Stores, in what was described as an updated alert, said it has recalled its dry dog food – 21% Protein Dog Food in 40 lb Petrus Feed bags because the product was manufactured with corn that tested above acceptable levels for aflatoxin.

The company said the affected products were manufactured by Cargill in LeCompte, LA between Dec. 1, 2010 and Dec. 1, 2011.

The recall is only for 21% Dog Food, packaged in 40 lb. Petrus Feed bags, with the packaging date codes (lot numbers) 4K1011 through 4K1307. Updated lot numbers are 4K1011 through 4K1335. The affected dry dog food was distributed in Petrus Feed and Seed in Alexandria, LA.

Consumers may return the recalled dog food – whether in opened or unopened packages – to their place of purchase for a full refund. For more information contact 318-443-2259, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Both companies advised that pets that have consumed any of the recalled products and exhibit symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be seen by a veterinarian.

Walking the Cat

A growing number of animal behaviorists believe that training and walking cats is not only possible, but good for the cat.

To view this article go to