Category Archives: veterinarian

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.

 

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

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!

Brushing Up On Oral Home Care: An Interview With Dr. Walker

One topic we are very passionate about here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital is pet oral health!  Pets are living longer, happier lives than ever before, so maintaining good oral hygiene is just as important for them as it is for humans.
Most pet owners are great at recognizing when their dog’s or cat’s teeth need a professional

KAH veterinarian Dr. Walker loves to help animals have healthy mouths!

cleaning, and it’s important to make an annual cleaning part of every pet’s health care routine. But before and in between cleanings, there is a lot that pet parents can do at home to keep their fur babies’ mouths healthy. For some trusted veterinary advice, we turned to Dr. Jennifer Walker, one of our veterinarians here at Kingsbrook!

  1. So why is caring for my pet’s teeth at home so important?

Dr. W: For many reasons! Oral health affects every organ in the body, and disease can be hidden. Preventing that disease is our goal.

2. What is the best thing I can do to keep my puppy or kitten’s teeth healthy?

KAH is super-dedicated to pet oral health! We met with Dr. Cindy Charlier (4th from left), a veterinary dental specialist, for 3 days of continuing education.

Dr. W: Brushing is best, but there are lots of options. We tailor an oral home care plan to each pet by working with our clients. If you aren’t ready for brushing just yet, there are wipes, rinses, and even a tartar control diet that serve as great starting points.

3. My older cat or dog doesn’t like having his mouth handled, but I am interested in starting an oral home care routine. What can I do?

Dr. W: Each pet is different, so we recommend talking with your veterinarian. I’ve had success with some pets by introducing the toothpaste on a favorite treat.

4. Between our pets, my job, and the kids, I am so busy lately and I don’t have a lot of room in my schedule to add another commitment. Is there anything I can do that is faster, or that takes less time?

Dr. W: I completely understand! Oral home care didn’t used to be part of my routine either. I have 2 kids, 3 dogs, 2 cats, and a full-time job. However, I was challenged to try for one month and I was surprised at how it worked out. My normal routine is to wake up, feed my dog, and start my coffee. So I decided to start while my coffee was brewing but kept forgetting to do it. I put the toothbrush and toothpaste in his food cup as a visual reminder when I went to feed him.  I started by just letting my dog lick toothpaste in his food bowl, and over time worked up from there. Now it takes me about 30 seconds to brush his teeth all while I’m waiting for my morning coffee.  A completely different routine may work better for you. One of our CSRs put her dog’s toothbrush in the bathroom right next to her own toothbrush, so she remembers to brush every night.  If your kids are old enough, you can even make it their job to brush—you can help teach responsibility and keep your pet healthy.

Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s “Joint” Talks: A Discussion About Arthritis

When the weather turns wintry, every pet has a different reaction!
Some pets love the cold and snow, while others  prefer to cuddle up by the fire. Furry friends who seem stiff or uncomfortable may be experiencing symptoms of arthritis. We sat down with Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s own Dr. Riley to get more information on this important issue!

Kingsbrook Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr. Riley was glad to chat about arthritis.

 

  1. So, we know that arthritis affects our pets’ joints. What exactly is arthritis, and how does it happen?
    Dr. R: “Arthritis is caused by the body’s response to instability or inflammation in a joint. It can erode cartilage, which acts like a cushion in a healthy joint to keep bones from rubbing together, and form irregular surfaces inside the joint. Conditions like hip dysplasia, a ligament rupture, or a loose kneecap (luxating patella) can lead to arthritis.”
  2. How do I know if my pet has arthritis?

KAH veterinarian Dr. Walker’s rescue kitty Smokey Joe suffers from arthritis in his joints.

Dr. R:  “Pets who have arthritis will start to show changes in their habits. They may lose interest in activities they used to enjoy, like playing with a toy or chasing squirrels.
Often, we notice dogs limping, or cats who can’t groom themselves as well. Many pets who have arthritis begin to lose muscle around the affected joint. Arthritic pets may be slow to get up or lie down, and they can have trouble getting comfortable.”

Even guinea pigs can have arthritis! KAH technician Sam poses with Hawke, who is on daily NSAIDs to help with joint pain.

3. What can I do to help my pet stay comfortable if s/he has arthritis?
Dr. R: “The best thing we can do for our animals is to seek treatment before the problem becomes severe. Intervening early means we have a better chance of slowing down arthritis or preventing additional complications. A joint supplement, like Dasuquin, with proven ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM is an easy way to help pets who suffer from arthritis. Many animals also do well with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs.”

4. I worry about using a lot of medications for my pets. Are there options to treat arthritis that don’t involve drugs?

Dr. R: “Yes, there are! Even pets who don’t have joint pain can benefit from a fish oil/fatty acid supplement, but it is great for joint health. There are prescription diets, like Hills™ j/d and Royal Canin™ Mobility Support, that can help with arthritis symptoms. Physical therapy, or even consistent regular exercise (with a veterinarian’s approval) can help to keep joints moving and decrease stiffness. And there are some great alternative therapies available, too—laser therapy and acupuncture help a lot of pets stay comfortable and happy.”

KAH technicians Lainey and Julie pose with Rocket. Dachshunds are a dog breed prone to arthritis.

All of the veterinarians here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD, are excited to help pets who are suffering from arthritis, and the entire staff is happy to answer any questions about symptoms or treatment options!

 

 

A Journey Is Best Measured in (Furry) Friends: Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s Brief History of Pets

November is Pet Pilgrimage Month at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD! We decided to take the suggestion literally and explore the history of pets.

Early dogs were indispensable to their owners, helping to hunt and fish.

The scientific community agrees that dogs were the first domesticated animals. Early humans developed mutually beneficial relationships with dogs; they were better at hunting and guarding, and humans provided a steady supply of food, warmth, and shelter.
Evidence of dogs living and working alongside humans can be found dating all the way back to almost 10,000 BC. Romans and Eqyptians around 3500 BC had dogs painted or carved alongside their nobles and families.

It’s easy to see how such beautiful, regal creatures were once regarded as deities!

Many experts believe that feral cats were introduced into villages by It’s easyGreek and Phoenician traders, where their presence was accepted and gradually welcomed because of their hunting ability. Over time, these cats began to be invited into villagers’ homes and were bred for temperament along with hunting skill. The Japanese, Norse, and Egyptians worshiped cats and believed they were divine beings.

Over the centuries that followed, animals began to be seen as status symbols. Chinese Emperor Ling Ti appointed his dogs senior court officials in AD180, and by the year 800 many wealthy households in Europe and Asia had at least one pet. Kings and queens had favorite

Dogs now enjoy a wide range of comforts from their owners!

furry friends, and explorers visiting new continents or countries would often bring a pet with them (or bring a new pet home). In the 1800s, birds were the most popular pets because they could sing and entertain. By the mid-1900s more “exotic” animals like reptiles and guinea pigs had started to become pets. Pet rabbits took off in

While some cats still hunt for mice, most like to remind their owners of the days when cats were worshiped…

popularity after the early 1970 release of Watership Down.

Today, over 56% of American households have at least one pet, and our pets are considered family members, not just animals. Some “fur babies” have their own social media pages, their own rooms in the home…some celebrity pets even have personal chefs! Pets have come a long way from their origins. Humans wouldn’t be where we are without them, and pet parents everywhere agree that we wouldn’t want to be, either.