Monthly Archives: December 2014

Feline Nutrition-What does KAH recommend?


Nutrition is the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth.  We want to provide good quality, nutritious food to our pets so they may live a long healthy life.  When we go to the store to purchase pet food, it can be very overwhelming.  There are aisles and shelves packed with different kinds of food.  Dry kibble, canned, semi-moist, refrigerated and frozen.  What should you choose?

     The first thing you want to do is look for the AAFCO information.  AAFCO stands for the  Association of American Feed Control Officials.  AAFCO is a regulatory board that safeguards the health of animals and humans.  Pet foods are developed two ways; through animal feeding trials or computer models.  An animal feeding trial is where a group of healthy laboratory cats or dogs are fed the food.  The animals are examined and blood work sampling is done before, during and after the food trial.  This ensures that the food is meeting all nutritional requirements for the animal.  A computer model is designed to allow the researchers to plug in the values for protein, fat, calcium and phosphorus and see if the values are adequate.  The veterinarians at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital recommend diets developed with animal feeding trials.

     The next thing to look at is the Nutrition label.  Is the food labeled for all life stages, or is it specifically labeled for kitten, adult or senior cats?  A food that is labeled for all life stages is basically a kitten food.  The nutrient contents are going to be in the higher ranges so that the kitten may develop and grow at a steady rate.  These ranges may be too high for an adult or senior house cat.  The calorie content is also higher,  so feeding a food for all life stages to a sedentary adult or senior cat is going to cause weight gain.  Make sure that the diet you choose is specifically labeled for the life stage of your pet.

     If you have any questions about choosing the right food for your pet, call our office in Frederick, MD and one of our friendly veterinary technicians would be glad help you.


Giving Back to our Community for Christmas

Santa’s helpers, Melissa and Julie, delivering Christmas cheer.

Kingsbrook Animal Hospital team adopts not one, but TWO local Frederick families in need this Christmas!

So many presents, we needed help to get everything inside.

Maybe you remember that last year Kingsbrook Animal Hospital team members adopted a local Frederick family for Christmas. We bought clothes and toys and food items to help the family have a joyous holiday instead of a quiet one without gifts or celebration. It was so rewarding, knowing that on Christmas morning as we sat with our own families, another family, not too far away, was enjoying a day filled with true Christmas spirit. What an amazing feeling, to know that we had a part in that!

We all agreed we HAD to participate again this year!

Dr. Cardella says this is the one!
KAH Giving Tree
Pick an ornament

This year we decided to adopt two families and let our clients in on the fun! As a group we all traveled to Sewells Tree Farm and cut down the KAH Christmas tree! We called our tree the “Tree of Giving.” Each team member at Kingsbrook brought in an ornament to add to our family tree. We also made paper ornaments that listed the age and gender of the family members and an item that they needed. This was a nice way for everyone to get involved.                

Like last year, we all had a blast shopping for clothes, toys, snow boots, hats and gloves. One of the families had just moved into new housing after they lost everything in a house fire so we bought plates and dishes, sheets and blankets, even a tv! Our second family was living in a hotel and asked for clothes to play in the snow. While it won’t likely be a white Christmas, they are prepared when the next snowfall arrives!

Lots of presents

Thank you to everyone who provided gifts and well wishes for these families! We hope that on December 25, you have a warm feeling of Christmas joy just thinking of the excitement the children will have when they see all the gifts that Santa has brought for them and also the joy their parents must have while watching their children enjoy a little Christmas magic during a time when they are struggling.

Thanks so much for helping us to make this happen!

Merry Christmas Frederick, Maryland!!

Your favorite veterinary team- Kingsbrook Animal Hospital

Think Carefully Before You Give Pets as Gifts

Many people receive pets as gifts during the holidays. In the past, shelters and animal rescues have been against this practice. Their concern was that people who receive a pet as a gift are more likely to relinquish their pet to the shelter because they were not prepared for the responsibilities of pet ownership. The good news is this long held belief may not actually be true. Recently, the ASPCA surveyed pet owners and reported that 96% of people who received their pet as a gift believed it either increased or had no impact on their love or attachment to the pet. In addition, 86% of these animals were still in their homes.

Similarly, studies have found that animals received as gifts were not any more likely to be returned than other pets. The ASPCA’s website highlights a study by New et al. It identified the source of approximately 2600 dogs and 2300 cats from 12 shelters across the United States. They found that dogs and cats received as pets were less likely to be relinquished. Likewise, “Scarlett et al. identified 71 reasons given for relinquishment. ‘Unwanted gift’ was listed only 0.3% for dogs and 0.4% for cats entering the shelters surveyed.” These studies suggest that the concerns about giving pets as gifts may not be supported. Nevertheless, while there is no doubt that pets bring joy, love and friendship, animals require a significant investment of time, money and emotion. So before you go out and get pets as holiday gifts for your friends and family, there are a few things you should know first.
What to think about before giving a pet as a gift

The decision to give someone a pet for a gift should never be taken lightly. Remember, cats can live up to 20 years, and dogs can live between 10 and 20 years depending on the breed. Considering how much time, money and care pets require, that’s quite a commitment. So before you decide to give someone a pet for the holidays, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do these people really want a pet?
  • Are they allergic to pets?
  • Do they have time for a dog? Or a cat?
  • Are they allowed to have a pet in their residence?
  • Can they afford to care for a pet, including veterinary expenses?
  • Do they have time to train a dog?
  • Do they have a yard and enough space in their home for a dog?
  • If they don’t, will they be able to walk their dog 3 to 4 times daily?
  • Do they have a pet-friendly home?
  • Are they prepared for the responsibility of pet ownership?

    Help! How do I Keep My Cat Out of the Christmas Tree?

    Getting ready for the holidays and about to put your Christmas tree up? Keep in mind that the tree makes a tempting target for many curious cats. Here are some tips on how to pet-proof your Christmas tree.

    Cat in Christmas treeConsider the type of tree to buy

    When it comes to buying a Christmas tree, I prefer and love real trees. After all, they fill our house with the holiday smells of evergreen. However, keep in mind that if you have cats, real trees are much more tempting. Not only are real trees fragrant and the pine needles more fun to chew on (thankfully, rarely poisonous) but the tree trunk is perfect for scratching and climbing. Consider an artificial tree (after all, less trees are cut down and thrown away, right?). If you do get a real tree, avoid one that is very tall, as a tall tree would be more likely to topple.

    Placement of the Christmas tree

    Looking for the right spot to put your Christmas tree? Make sure you have plenty of free space on all sides of the tree so your cat doesn’t have a launching point (i.e., jumping off point) to attack the tree! Ideally, place it in an area with an equal amount of free space as the height of the tree (i.e., if the tree is 8 feet tall, consider leaving an 8 foot berth around it).
    Securing the Crhistmas tree
    Make sure you use a sturdy base to secure the trunk. While these bases are ugly, it beats having your tree topple over. (Simply wrap the base with felt or a tree skirt to hide it.) Also, consider securing the tree from the top (to a ceiling hook) for additional bracing and support.

    Pet-proofing the Christmas tree

    Here are a few ways to pet-proof your Christmas tree:

    • When watering your real tree, consider wrapping the base with plastic wrap so your cat doesn’t drink the fertilizer or chemicals. (Don’t worry, these are rarely poisonous but can cause gastrointestinal upset.)
    • If you have a real tree, wrap the base of the trunk with aluminum foil. As cats hate the crinkling sound and texture of foil, they are less likely to scratch on the tree trunk. Also, by wrapping the tree trunk with foil you hopefully prevent the initial climb.
    • Avoid dangling ornaments on the bottom 5th of the tree; place ornaments high up on the tree and make sure they are well secured (try twisty ties or zip ties to secure ornaments).
    • Never use tinsel in a household with cats. While tinsel isn’t poisonous, when accidentally swallowed by cats, it can get stuck around the base of the tongue or in the stomach, and result in a life-threatening linear foreign body. This can require expensive surgery to fix, so avoid this holiday emergency by not using any tinsel on your tree this year.
    • If you have a young, curious kitten, make sure to hide the electrical cords for the Christmas lights as best you can. When accidentally bitten, they can result in severe burns in the mouth and even rare fluid accumulation within the lungs (e.g., noncardiogenic pulmonary edema). Hide cords, and consider spraying them with Bitter Apple to prevent chewing. Also, make sure to turn off the Christmas lights and unplug the cords when cats are unsupervised.

    When in doubt, avoid a holiday emergency trip to the veterinarian and keep your household safe during this holiday!

    If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian — they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

    ‘Tis the Season for Giving…and Saying THANKS!!!

         We spend the holidays reflecting on things we are thankful for and giving gifts to friends, loved ones and those less fortunate than ourselves.  I would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to those that have given me a gift in 2014.  The gift of your time.  The gift of your skills and creativity.  The gift of your generosity.  The gift of your support.

         The Veterinarians and staff of Kingsbrook Animal Hospital started the Kylie and Cricket Memorial Fund after I lost my two beloved Basenjis in a house fire.  The outpouring of support I received from the Kingsbrook Animal Hospital family (bosses, co-workers, friends and clients) was overwhelming.  That compassion still thrives today in the support of the fund.
         Now it is time for me to show my appreciation to those who have supported the fund.

    THANK YOU to the veterinarians and team members of Kingsbrook Animal Hospital for volunteering your time and creativity to plan events to raise money and awareness for the fund. Vet Academy is in it’s third year and Flat KAH, the Haunted Hospital and Santa Pictures were a great success!

    THANK YOU  to Angie Zeger for making Paracord bracelets and donating raffle items to
    raise money and awareness for the fund.  Donation total to date $1033.00.

    THANK YOU  to Vicki Baker for donating a raffle basket to raise money and awareness of the fund.  Donation total to date $228.00.

    THANK YOU  to Cynthia Balzer for making stained glass paw print ornaments to raise money and awareness of the fund.  Donation total to date $200.00.

    THANK YOU  to Kimberly McKinney for donating a portion of her profits of her new Thirty-One business and bringing awareness to the fund.

    THANK YOU  to Cyndi Anderson, owner of Country Rabbit Crafters, for donating a
    portion of her holiday candle sales for the month of December and bringing awareness to the fund.


    THANK YOU  to our friends and clients for your participation in the above events and
    fundraisers, and for your generous monetary donations to the fund.

    THANK YOU  from the bottom of my heart for allowing us to keep Kylie and Cricket’s
    memory alive by providing for those animals who have not found their forever homes…YET.

    Written by Ranee Baker RVT 

    Pets Best releases list of bizarre holiday pet insurance claims

    Pets Best releases list of bizarre holiday pet insurance claims

    With the winter holiday season right around the corner, Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC, has released its annual list of the most bizarre pet insurance claims submitted during the holiday season.
    Costly Croissants
    For many, baking is a holiday tradition. From breads to decadent desserts, there’s usually something special in the oven during the holiday season. A 2-year-old Siberian husky named Zoey really bit off more than she could chew when she decided to eat a whole box of frozen croissants. Due to the high amount of yeast in bread dough, a veterinarian induced vomiting and monitored Zoey for hypoglycemia and signs of ethanol toxicity. After a short hospitalization, Zoey was well enough to return to her terrible twos in the comfort of her own home.
    Not-So-Cozy Slippers
    The arrival of cold winter weather requires most people to pull out cozy blankets, warm robes and fuzzy slippers. Teddy, a 5-year-old Great Pyrenees, has always been a fan of shoes, but there was something extra enticing about those suede, fur-lined slippers his owner pulled out of the closet. Teddy gave in to his temptations and ended up in the hospital after digesting the top of his owner’s slipper. Teddy showed signs of blockage, and during his hospital stay, he experienced bouts of vomiting, producing large and small pieces of slipper. 
    Holiday Meal Mishap
    Turkey is commonly served during the holiday season, and for one mischievous 7-year-old Labrador retriever mix named Darsha, it was the meal of a lifetime. Once her family was finished with its Thanksgiving meal and had moved on to clearing the table one item at a time, Darsha made her move. She lunged at what was left of the golden turkey carcass sitting on the edge of the dining room table and devoured the entire carcass within seconds. The result was an emergency visit to the vet clinic for evaluations and diagnostics. Darsha made it home that evening with medication and a relieved family.
    Sugar Cookie Surprise
    When the holiday season ended, it was time for Lily, a 5-year-old Maltipoo, and her parents to prepare for their journey home. The suitcases were packed and ready to load into the car when Lily smelled something delicious inside the front zipper of her parents’ bag. Lily ripped open the flap and found two dozen, homemade sugar cookies. Luckily, she was caught in the act of devouring them. Due to the high concentrations of sugar and fat in sugar cookies, they can cause upset stomach and pancreatitis among dogs. Foods with high sugar content can also cause an osmotic effect in dogs’ gastrointestinal tract by drawing water into the colon, resulting in diarrhea. Lily was rushed to the veterinary hospital for a thorough evaluation, which resulted in a medically induced vomiting. Once the cookies were out of her system and Lily was cleared to leave, she and her parents were able to finally head home.