Tag Archives: MD

Back To School is Cool With Kingsbrook Animal Hospital–Positive Reinforcement Training

It’s time to hit the books again–another school year is starting. The two-legged kids will get on the bus, but our four-legged “fur babies” could use some learning too!  Every dog, no matter how old, can benefit from some positive reinforcement training. Positive reinforcement is quite the buzzword among dog owners these days, but what exactly does it mean, and why is it the best option?

Most dogs respond readily to positive reinforcement training, even in new surroundings.

Dogs, as a species, aim to please and are very likely to perform or repeat behaviors that seem to make their owners happy. If these behaviors are reinforced, the dog will continue to repeat them, whereas behaviors that result in no reward or in a perceived punishment will probably not happen anymore. Positive reinforcement training means rewarding the behaviors that are desired (such as “sit”) and ignoring the behaviors that are undesirable (like barking). For most dogs, beginning with a food reward is a great way to encourage a behavior. Eventually, the treat will not be used every time– this is called fading the lure and is a gradual process that results in the dog performing the command without any physical reward at all. Positive reinforcement can be used to train a variety of behaviors, from a basic “sit” to complicated agility tricks, dance moves, hunting commands, and even nose/scent work.  Training in this manner doesn’t just make a dog better-behaved, it provides healthy and constructive mental stimulation.  Often, those dogs who exhibit

Positive reinforcement classes are a great start for a puppy or a great refresher for an older dog!

“nuisance” behaviors such as barking, chewing, or digging are simply bored and need some mental exercise. Positive reinforcement classes are available at every level of experience, and also offer the fantastic side benefit of socialization, or exposing a dog to new people/places/things and other dogs.

In contrast, there are many training methods that are not so positive.  Shock collars, for example, are a punishment device that issue an electric shock when triggered with a remote. Most of the time, dogs aren’t able to make the connection between their behavior and the shock. This results in a fearful, anxious dog that may even begin to display signs of aggression. Many dogs do make the connection between the collar and the shock, though, and it is very common for owners to state that their dog behaves “perfectly” until the collar is removed. Leash corrections (using a choke or prong collar) can have similar consequences–the dog becomes fearful of or aggressive towards the collar

Not all rewards have to be food! KAH assistant Kayla uses a favorite toy to reinforce a puppy’s good behavior.

Here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital, we are very passionate about positive reinforcement training–it not only helps to build and strengthen the bond between a dog and his owner, but it creates happy, well-adjusted, confident dogs who are able to interact with the world in a positive way. We include discussions of positive reinforcement training in every puppy’s first few visits, and our veterinarians are always ready and willing to make a personalized training recommendation for any dog.

 

KAH Invites You To Fall In Love With A Shelter Dog: Part 1

October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD we invite you to Fall In Love With a Shelter Dog!
To celebrate adoption, we asked staff members to tell us why they decided to rescue a dog from a shelter. Below are their answers, as well as some photos of their cherished canines.

KAH technician Sam with her adopted dog Emmie

Sam, RVT: “I saw a picture of Emmie on PetFinder and I just knew she was the dog for me. Adopting a dog is great because you get the same unconditional love for less money. All of my pets have always been rescues.”

Nora, RVT: “I met my dogs as patients here at KAH, through Frederick County Animal Control. I fell in love and was looking to expand my family—it’s like it was meant to be!”

KAH technician Nora with her rescue pup Sophia

Tiffany, CSR: “I met Dixie Petunia as a patient. She came to the hospital from the shelter for a spay surgery. She was so malnourished, and most of her hair was missing—but she was so sweet! I helped nurse her back to health, and by then it was the holiday season…so Dixie Petunia was my Christmas gift to myself.”

Dr. Riley, DVM: “There is just such a need to rescue animals, I never even considered going elsewhere. My family really wanted to help homeless pets and save a life.”

KAH technician Rush with furry family member Wallace

Rush, RVT: “I really wanted a one-of-a-kind mixed-breed dog, and I fell in love with Wallace when I saw his photo on the PetFinder website. There are just so many dogs who need homes, and it makes me really happy to know that Wallace is such a ‘unique snowflake.’”

Nyx, Vet Assistant: “Maui was returned to the shelter by a family who just didn’t want her anymore. It was such a sad story, and when she came in to KAH as a foster I couldn’t help falling in love. I wanted to give her another chance, and me & my kids are so glad I did.”

 

Stay tuned for more adoption stories in Kingsbrook Animal Hospital‘s “Fall In Love With A Shelter Dog: Part 2”!

Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s Top 4 Tips on Pet Oral Home Care

One common topic encountered during examinations at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital is caring for pets’ teeth at home.  This can seem like a daunting task, and owners often have questions about where to begin and what options there are for oral home care. The following are KAH’s Top Four Tips on Oral Home Care for pets!

 

  1. Start early—begin handling a puppy or kitten’s mouth as early as possible. Introduce toothpaste and the toothbrush slowly to get pets used to the idea. For older pets, start by letting them lick some toothpaste off a finger and gradually introduce the toothbrush.
  2. Start out slowly with introducing toothpaste and a toothbrush. Even cats can learn to accept brushing!

    Make it positive—offer a favorite treat or even a meal after brushing to build up acceptance and create positive experiences. Dental treats (see #4) are a great option for this!

  3. Brush often—once a day is ideal, but at least 3 times a week will make a difference in the buildup of plaque and tartar. Check out our YouTube channel for a video with a demonstration on how to brush teeth!
  4. Consider nonbrushing options such as Hills t/d or dental treats (Greenies for cats, OraVet

    KAH technician Nora applies OraVet sealant to patient Xanthos’s teeth after his cleaning!

    Chews for dogs) for pets who aren’t as accepting of brushing. There are also dental wipes and water additives. Kingsbrook Animal Hospital recommends using only products endorsed by the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council), an independent third-party organization that tests all pet dental products on the market.

  5. Choose a professional sealant to be applied after a professional cleaning. KAH offers OraVet and Sanos sealants, which help slow the buildup of plaque and tartar and extend the efficacy of a cleaning. Ask a Kingsbrook veterinarian for more information!

 

Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s Patient Penelope Is An Animal Planet Star!

A new star is born! Kingsbrook Animal Hospital is proud to announce that our patient Penelope has been featured in an episode of Animal Planet’s new mini-series Life At Vet U. The episode first aired on Saturday October 29th but will be shown again on Saturday November 5th. During the show, Animal Planet covers the story of Penelope’s portosystemic shunt (PSS). Also known as a “liver shunt,” a PSS is a blood vessel that routes blood flow around the liver, instead of through it. This means that all of the toxins that a normal liver is able to break down and filter out remain in the pet’s circulation. These toxins build up in the bloodstream and can cause the pet to become very sick. Sometimes animals with a PSS will exhibit neurologic signs, like dizziness or seizures. This condition needs to be corrected surgically to close the vessel and restore normal blood flow through the liver. The students at the University of Pennsylvania helped Penelope by performing this surgery!

Tune in this coming weekend to see Penelope’s story, or check out the episode online at http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/life-at-vet-u/.

Dr. Lynch with TV start Penelope!

Dr. Lynch with TV start Penelope!

Laser Therapy at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital

Veterinary medicine is a field that’s constantly changing and evolving; there are new medicines and treatments available for our pets almost every day. Here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, one advance that we were quick to embrace was a therapy laser.

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Veterinary Assistants Rush and Abby perform laser therapy on Penelope’s surgical incision

Laser therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to treat pain. The therapy laser has a handpiece that directs the light and focuses it on the area that’s being treated. Laser therapy can be used for almost any kind of pain—a veterinarian may prescribe laser therapy for chronic joint pain (such as arthritis or hip dysplasia), for post-surgical pain (like a cruciate repair), or for wound care. It can even be used on gum tissue after oral surgery, or to treat pain associated with ear infections! New uses for laser therapy are being discovered all the time.

 

One of the best things about laser therapy is that it’s a non-invasive, easy way to treat our furry friends. Treatments are usually very quick (anywhere from 3-5 minutes total) and can be accompanied by lots of petting and treats. It can be used in conjunction with many medications and is painless as well as stress-free. At Kingsbrook Animal Hospital, therapy is usually started with three treatments the first week, two treatments the second week, and one last treatment in week three before the veterinarian assesses how the laser therapy is helping.

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Veterinary Assistant Heather takes a moment to pose with Priscilla before starting treatment

Only a few veterinarians in Frederick have a therapy laser, but the number is growing. Is laser therapy right for your animal companion? Ask your veterinarian, at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital, to find out more about this great new option for treating pain in pets!

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Veterinary Technician Sam cuddles Gideon during his laser therapy!

Crafting with KAH: Make your own doggie ‘Potty Bell’ in Frederick, MD

Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s DIY “Potty Bell” for dogs!

Even if you don’t live in Frederick, MD- this is a great idea to help with training your dog!

Materials needed:

Ribbon

Bells

‘D’ ring (or key ring)

Scissors

Lighter

Hot glue gun

08-Tiff Project 1


Step 1. Tie a loop around your doorknob and “measure” how big the loop needs to be and how long.

01-Tiff Project 2

Step 2. Cut the ribbon a little longer than the desired length (this gives you room to tie on the bells later).

02-Tiff Project 3

Step 3. Singe the end of your ribbon with a lighter to prevent fraying.
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Step 4. Slide the bells onto the D-ring or Key ring.

04-Tiff Project 5

Step 5. Tie the end of the ribbon (opposite side of doorknob loop) onto the D-ring or Key-ring.

 

05-Tiff Project 6

Step 6. Tie a bow onto the unfinished knots, cut and singe ends.

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Step 7. Re-enforce the bow by placing a small amount of hot glue under the bow’s knot.

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Step 8. Tie a bow to loop around door knob.

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Step 9: Hang on your door and introduce to your pup!

10-Tiff Project 10

 

*For tips on how to teach your dog to use the ‘Potty Bell,’ call us at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital 301-631-6900.

Remember- we love to see your final projects! Share your pictures with your favorite veterinarian- Kingsbrook Animal Hospital!

 

Crafting with KAH: Make a Paw Print Picture Frame in Frederick, MD

                Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s DYI Paw print picture frame for dogs or cats!

11-final projectSupplies…

Wooden frame

Paint brush

2 different colors of paint

paint pen

dog

01-Supplies


Step 1…

Paint the wooden frame with one of your chosen colors & wait for the the first coat to dry. Repeat if necessary.

03-Step 104-Step 1 finishedStep 2…

Paint your dogs paw pads ( I decided to do this outside )

05-Step 2 ( another step 2)Step 3…

Stop! selfie time!

06-Step 3 Sugar selfieStep 4…

Place your dogs paw print on the frame itself.

Hint- lift your dog’s paw slowly so not to smear the paw print.

(Remember to wash the paint from your dog’s paw once this step is complete.)

08-Step 4

09-paw print step 4Step 5…

Use the paint pen to write your dog’s name on the frame above the paw print.

10-Step 5Step 6…

Place a picture of your of dog in your frame & enjoy!

12-Sugar with pawprint frame








Crafting with KAH: Build your own cat hideout in Frederick, MD

Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s DIY Cat Hideout!

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Indoor cats benefit greatly from enrichment items, especially cat hideouts! It gives them an acceptable area to stretch their claws and provides a hiding spot for napping and/or playing. Kingsbrook RVT, Julie, has 2 cats and here is a picture of one of their well used cat hideouts. As you can see, it was time for a replacement and an upgrade! Here is step by step how Julie and her Dad built a new, bigger and even more cat-friendly cat hide out!

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First- gather materials!

(Most of the materials can be found at any local Frederick hardware store.)

-Concrete tube form, 3/4 pine board, 2×4, screws, carpet, hemp rope, contact cement, recycled satellite dish
(Having a Dad or friend with some tools will make this project much easier!)

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Using concrete tube form, trace the arch for internal perches onto the 3/4 pine board. Cut out with a scroll saw.

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Stagger your perches inside the concrete tube form. Secure them with drywall screws.

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Measure and cut out scrap carpet. Attach with contact cement. **This part is very smelly!  Allow to dry for several days to help the smell to dissipate.IMG_7401

Measure and cut out opening in the satellite dish. Attach the dish to the concrete form tube with drywall screws.
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Cut out cat doors with a scroll saw.
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Measure and cut carpet scraps to fit around the concrete tube form.

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Using liquid nails in a caulking gun, glue the hemp rope around the cylinder.

Wrap cylinder with bungee cords to secure carpet as it dries.IMG_7411

After glue is dry and oder has dissipated, present the cat hide out to your buddies!

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Tip: There is no wrong way to build a cat hide out! Have fun with it 🙂

And remember to send pictures of your finished project to your favorite veterinarian- Kingsbrook Animal Hospital!