Tag Archives: Veterinary

When You’re Back From Vacation—Get Your Pet Vaccinations (At Kingsbrook Animal Hospital)!

One of the major reasons pet owners bring their fur-babies to the vet is for “routine shots.”  More and more often there are stories on the news about “overvaccination” or disease

KAH technician Nora is showcasing all of the canine vaccine options!

outbreaks. It can be difficult to determine what is best for a beloved pet—to vaccinate, or not to vaccinate? Fortunately, Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick MD is here to weigh in on this important topic: what are vaccines, which ones are available, and which are best for a pet?

Vaccines are substances that stimulate an immune response to

KAH technician Tiki is displaying our cat vaccines!

bacteria or a virus in a pet or person. They do this by tricking the immune system into thinking that the human or animal who received the vaccine has been infected. The immune system prepares a response to that bacteria or virus, and then saves that information in case of “reinfection.” If the immune system is already familiar with an infection, it responds quickly and strongly. This is how vaccinated pets/people are able to fight off things like the flu so much better than those who are not vaccinated. Think of it like knowing there is a pop quiz coming—the immune system is “studying” when it is vaccinated, so it will perform much better on the test than one that is unprepared.

  • Rabies is a zoonotic (will spread to people) virus that causes neurologic complications in affected animals, and it is fatal. For these reasons, rabies vaccination is required by law, even for pets who don’t go outside often. This is because a pet who slips out the door can easily encounter an infected animal—or an infected bat can quickly fly into a home. Rabies vaccines are available for dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, and several other species. Rabies is a

    KAH veterinarian Dr Lynch is giving this kitty a rabies vaccine. Pet vaccines go under the skin, not into the muscle like people vaccines.

    core vaccine.

  • Distemper is the name given to a virus that attacks the respiratory system. For dogs, the distemper vaccine is often combined with parvovirus and adenovirus vaccines (DAP), and for cats it is combined with calicivirus and panleukopenia (FVRCP). All of these viruses are most likely to attack very young or more elderly pets, but they are very easily spread between members of the same species and can quickly cause an outbreak. Distemper is a core vaccine.
  • Leptospiriosis, or “lepto,” is a type of bacteria that attacks the kidneys, nervous system, and liver. Like rabies, it is both zoonotic and fatal. It is spread through the urine of infected animals; in rural areas/suburbs, it is most often found in deer, squirrels, moles, skunks and rabbits, while in more urban areas rodents like mice and rats are the major carriers. Here in Frederick, Lepto is a core vaccine

    KAH veterinarian Dr Walker is giving a distemper vaccine. Please ask a KAH staff member how we can make the vaccine experience FearFree for your pet!

    since we have several documented cases.

  • Lyme is a bacteria that is spread by ticks. It can affect people and dogs but cannot be spread from one to the other without tick involvement—this means that ticks are vectors for Lyme disease. Here in Frederick, the Lyme vaccine is a lifestyle vaccine, because not all dogs may be at risk for Lyme. Those that are not at risk are indoor-only dogs who are current year-round on flea and tick preventative. Remember—only a week-long temperature of -10°F will kill ticks during the winter, otherwise they are just looking even harder for a warm body!
  • Bordetella is better known as “kennel cough.” It spreads very quickly from dog to dog and causes a slight fever along with its hallmark hacking cough. Environments with lots of dogs in tight

    This sweet pup is receiving a vaccine with the help of 2 KAH technicians. If your dog does better for vaccines with you present — speak up!

    quarters, such as day cares and grooming facilities, are where most infections are likely to occur—so this vaccine is a lifestyle vaccine recommended for dogs who board, groom, or go to dog parks or day care.

  • Feline Leukemia, or FeLV, is a virus that is spread from cat to cat via saliva and causes symptoms very similar to leukemia in humans. Also a lifestyle vaccine, FeLV is reccomended only for cats who go outdoors or interact with other cats who do.

That is a lot of information! It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all of the options out there. Please talk to your veterinarian at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital with any questions or concerns.

Fall In Love With Kingsbrook Animal Hospital: Meet Our Client Service Representatives!

Here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD, we have a wonderful team of Client Service Representatives! Our CSRs take on so many tasks for us every day, from scheduling appointments to creating social media posts, from giving directions to impromptu pet photography.  We’re really proud of all of the work our CSRs do, so we’d love to take the opportunity to introduce each of our current Client Service Reps during the first week of our Fall in Love With KAH event.


Tiffany with patient Maia


Tiffany K— Tiffany has been working at KAH since May of 2015. One of her favorite things about Kingsbrook Animal Hospital is that the doctors at KAH really enjoy their work, and that every single staff member is focused on providing great client care.



Kelly with an adorable boxer puppy

Kelly with an adorable boxer puppy

Kelly— Kelly’s favorite aspect of KAH is her coworkers; “They’re not just fellow employees, they’re friends and even like a second family,” she says. Kelly has been with Kingsbrook since January of 2007.




Elizabeth with Schooner

Elizabeth with patient Schooner

Elizabeth—Elizabeth is one of our newer team members, having started employment with us in April of 2016. Elizabeth loves KAH because of the chance to interact with the clients we’ve built a good relationship with already, and the chance to see the joy on the face of new pet parents when they bring their puppy/kitten/baby bunny in for the first visit.



Justin with Kingsbrook's own Mo!

Justin with Kingsbrook’s own Mo!


Justin—Also a new addition to the KAH team, Justin says the best thing about working at KAH is “The constant opportunities for learning, from the other staff members and even from our awesome clients.” Justin has been part of the team since July 2016.




Maureen with patient Dixie Rae

Maureen with patient Dixie Rae


Maureen—Maureen has worked at Kingsbrook since June 2014. Being able to work with people who really love animals, and the fact that KAH is invested in learning and sharing knowledge, are Maureen’s favorite things about working at our hospital.



Kirsten with patient Newman

Kirsten with patient Newman

Kirsten—Kirsten just joined the Kingsbrook team in September 2016! So far, her favorite thing about the hospital is the Comfort room. “I’ve been at a dozen different vet clinics, and I haven’t seen anything like it before. It’s really nice that we have a setting that isn’t just an exam room.”



We hope you enjoyed meeting part of our team! Stay tuned for new introductions each week. Next week, we’ll introduce KAH’s wonderful Veterinary Assistants!


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.

4-Rush and Abby laser 2

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.

2-Heather & Priscilla doggles

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!


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:



‘D’ ring (or key ring)



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.
03-Tiff Project 4

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.

06-Tiff Project 8

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

09-Tiff Project 9

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

07-Tiff Project 7

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



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

Holiday Sneezing in Frederick, MD

Last Christmas, client service representative, Kelly, brought home her first real Christmas tree! Her mother was allergic, so she only had fake trees growing up. She excitedly put up her new tree, decorating it to perfection.



A couple hours later, her dog, Sugar, began sneezing. Kelly was disappointed, thinking Sugar was allergic to trees as well. Her house wouldn’t be filled with the smell of pine trees that reminded her of Christmas time. Over the next couple of hours, Sugar’s sneezes became more and more violent until she suddenly let out the sneeze of all sneezes. A mucous-covered pine needle shot out of Sugar’s nose and landed right on Kelly’s couch! “It was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever encountered,” says Kelly. Sugar continued to sneeze throughout the night and into the next morning.

Fearing she had another pine needle lodged in her nose, Kelly brought Sugar in to Kingsbrook Animal Hospital to see her veterinarian. Sugar was put on an antibiotic and an antihistamine and within a few days was feeling much better! You might be a client service representative’s pet if you snort a pine needle!

Kelly and Sugar

Kelly and Sugar

Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s Katie and her dog Ripken- facing cancer together

I adopted Ripken from the Humane Society when he was six months old. He had come in as a six week old puppy who had been hit by a car a few days previously, but had been left in someone’s garage until he seemed like he may die. Only then did they bring him in to the shelter. He had a dislocated hip, a crushed toe, and lots of infected cuts. A local veterinarian nursed him back to health and he went up for adoption at about twelve weeks old. He had several people interested in him, but ultimately he was too boisterous so they ended up choosing other dogs. Finally, at six months old he when he was about to be euthanized, I adopted him. At the time, I was living in an apartment that did not allow dogs, so we moved and he was my best friend for the next nine years. I had my son, Tristan, about five years later, and Ripken was devoted to him.

In June 2013, Ripken was running around in the back yard with Tristan and our other dog, Surge, when I noticed he was lame on his right front leg. He was bearing weight on it, but he would just step a little gingerly when he used it. It was a Saturday, so we decided we would monitor him over the weekend and take him to the veterinarian if needed on Monday. By Monday, he had a large swelling midway up his front leg. We took him to the vet that morning fully expecting that this was something that was fixable. They took him for some x-rays and blood work. When the veterinarian returned, he told us that Ripken had a tumor that was primary osteosarcoma, or bone cancer. We discussed what the possible options were: amputation, chemotherapy, or simply pain management. Unfortunately, due to his hip dysplasia, the vet did not think he would be a good candidate for amputation. Chemotherapy was estimated to give him an additional six months, but even with that, this is an aggressive form of cancer that would likely spread. If we did not do chemotherapy, the veterinarian thought we could keep him comfortable with just pain management for around six weeks until we would need to euthanize. My fiancé, Jason, and I took a couple days to talk about it, since we were both too emotional to make a quick decision. Ultimately, for Ripken and for us, we decided to do pain management for as long as he was comfortable and he still had a good quality of life. This was one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make and sometimes I still question whether it was the right thing. Maybe I should have done the chemotherapy and I would have had him longer. But I continued thinking that longer isn’t always better. Ultimately this cancer would spread and I would still have to say goodbye to my best friend. I just wanted his life to be the best it could possibly be for as long as I could keep it that way. I was worried he would be miserable from the side effects of the chemotherapy and his quality of life would be poor. The veterinarian warned us that waiting too long could result in the tumor growing so large that it would eventually break his leg.

He was on several different pain medications and for four weeks he was his happy, normal self. We waited and watched. I was petting him at the end of those four weeks and when my hand ran over his hips, he yelped. It was rare for him to ever yelp in pain so it caught my attention immediately. He had been bearing more weight on his hind legs over the last couple days to prevent him from needing to put so much weight on that front leg. When Surge was ready to go out and play one day, Ripken just laid on the deck and watched him run around, which was also not at all like him. We called the veterinarian that night to schedule his euthanasia the next day. I didn’t want him to be in pain, so when he started showing me that he was, we knew it was time. The next morning came and he seemed better. He was playing with Surge, not as enthusiastically, but still playing. I started questioning whether we should wait. Ultimately, I wanted to do what was best for my friend and no matter how much it hurt, I owed him the same love and caring he had always shown me. We decided to go through with the euthanasia that day, because even if today was a good day, tomorrow may not be and he was going to have many more bad days than good. He was going to continue to decline, and I didn’t want him to have to suffer through those bad days because I was unable to let go.

We went to the veterinarian. My parents met us there (they were always very firmly cat people, but they attribute Ripken to opening their eyes to how great dogs, especially Pit Bulls can be) so they could say goodbye and take the boys and Surge back to their house where we were going to bury Ripken. Ripken was so excited to see them and he had always loved going to the vet because they gave him lots of treats. He walked into the hospital with Jason and I and greeted everyone, like always. I thought my heart was going to be broken into a million pieces forever, but I was determined not to break down until after he was gone, because he needed me to be strong. He was my rock through many transitions in my life and now it was my time to be his. Ripken was humanely euthanized on July 17, 2013 and was buried at my parents house with a hand carved headstone to mark his grave.

It still hurts. I still miss him every day. They say that time heals all wounds and I don’t know if that is true, but I do know that time makes them more bearable. I would have given anything, paid anything to save my friend and to still have him with me, but that isn’t the reality of pet ownership- we often outlive these incredible creatures with whom we have shared our homes, lives, and love. I believe that we love all our pets, but there are those that we have a special connection with, and Ripken was mine. I feel blessed to have been able to have that connection for the nine years we were together, and I was able to give him a gift in return- I was able to end his suffering in a loving and painless way.

-Katie Bruner, RVT

KATIEoct 2013 023

Surge and Ripken

Toxoplasmosis and Pregnancy


For anyone who doesn’t know me…I am that crazy cat lady!  Cats are awesome, truly amazing, fuzzy little acrobatic ninja’s that I could never imagine my life without.  Last year, I invited my boy, Bronson, into this great big world.  My pregnancy was NOT a normal pregnancy and being in a position of working in a veterinary hospital and having a larger number of cats living in my home…I was at risk of a parasite called Toxoplasmosis.

Toxoplasma_gondii_tissue_cyst_in_mouse_brainToxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease that is caused by a protozoan Toxoplasmosis gondii.  Cats just happen to be one of the more common carriers of the parasite and are infected by eating birds, small mammals, or drinking infected water.  Once the parasite has infected our fuzzy friends, it is then shed in their feces.  Cat’s and kittens can shed millions of this parasite with each bowel movement for as long as three weeks after the initial infection.

Since we love and care for our cats in our home, we are at risk of contracting the infection too.  We are put at risk of Toxoplasmosis because we clean our cat’s litter boxes.  People who contract Toxoplasmosis usually suffer flu-like symptoms, but pregnant women who may contract the parasite can be detrimental to the health of their unborn child.  Toxoplasmosis can affect the unborn child and cause lasting health effects and/or disability.  Activities such as gardening or handling raw meat can also put us at risk.

If you have cats at home and are pregnant, delegate litter box duties to another individual in your home.  If you are in a position that you can not delegate the litter box duties, you may wear latex gloves and just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.  If you are concerned that you may have Toxoplasmosis, contact your health care provider.  Annual parasite screening is also an important adjunct to regular veterinary visits to ensure your cat is parasite free.

Adopting Mindy

Adopting Mindy

2-Mindy 3

Pet adoption is something no one should enter into lightly. It takes a lot of thought and consideration to make a sound decision about making a lifelong commitment to an animal. Being a veterinary technician, many animals have crossed my path and I have chosen on more occasions than not, I should  make that lifelong commitment. It is hard to explain why certain animals tugged at my heart strings more than others but the choices I’ve made have always been with the intention to care for my pets until death.

1-Mindy 2

Broken Left Leg

Mindy came to Kingsbrook Animal Hospital after being picked up by Frederick County Animal Control as a stray. She had an obviously fractured left hind leg and came to us for radiographic evaluation of the fracture. Upon taking the x-rays it was discovered that her left hind leg had multiple breaks of 3 bones in her leg. It was decided that the best option for then, Elsa, was to return to the shelter and cage rest for 6-8 weeks to allow the fractures to potentially heal. On that first visit I was immediately impressed at this little dogs resiliency. Despite an incredibly painful injury she was very vibrant, energetic and incredibly friendly and outgoing. Her actions lent to the fact that her pain tolerance was likely very high.


Healed fracture

When she returned to clinic 4 weeks later for follow up radiographic evaluation, I had the opportunity to spend time with her and on some level she spoke to me and my heart was won over. I rationalized that even with good healing of her breaks that her leg was susceptible to early arthritis and that weight management and joint supplements would be crucial to her comfort in the future. I was worried that someone without my medical understanding of her injury would let these things go by the wayside. At least, this is what I told myself to validate my decision to adopt her.

Over time, her injuries have healed very well, she has never complained, and is quite spry and energetic. I keep her on the thin side and give her Dasuquin, a joint supplement, every day. She also eats J/D, a prescription diet made by Science Diet, that helps preserve joint function and comfort. She is a sweet, kind and loving dog that gives us a great deal of joy. We are very lucky to be able to care for her.

Adopting a pet is incredibly rewarding because you are ultimately giving a living creature a second chance at a good life!