Yesterday was national pet DNA day, and today is national kids and pets day! There is no better combination than a happy dog or cat and a kid playing together. Dr. Ahalt's children love their animals, and the puppy, Chug, loves to go on trips around Frederick MD with them. In fact, our friends will know that we have a hard time keeping him out of the car.
(Almost!) Everyone loves a golden doodle! Miss Emma, an 11 week golden doodle, came in for her first visit. Everyone just loved her collar with her pink bow. 🐶 We have seen a lot of golden doodle puppies this year, and all the puppies are making this nice spring day even better at Jefferson Veterinary Hospital, we love seeing your new family additions! We are seeing a large number of doodle dog crosses! Two of the pictures are Emma, the golden doodle, two below that are Truman, a sweet and snuggly 9 week old puppy Labra doodle, and below her are a picture of Bandit, an 18 week old cocker poo!
Steve spent most of the day with us yesterday because he hurt his leg in the snow. We had to take some x rays and sedate him so Dr. Ahalt could have a better feel of his knee. He is a 7 year old Spanish Water Dog! 🐾
Heart-worm in Dogs
For pets that live in the area around our animal hospital in Frederick County MD, we recommend that pets take heart-worm preventative on a constant basis throughout the year to prevent infection. Jefferson Veterinary Hospital is currently offering a 10% discount on one years worth of heart worm when purchased from us in your pets annual well pet exam!
What is Heart-worm?
Heart-worm disease is caused by foot long worms that live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. This causes severe lung disease, heart failure, and damage to other organs in the body. The dog is a host for heart-worms. Heart-worms can affect a dogs health and the quality of life after the parasites are gone. Because of this, using heartworm prevention is the best option, and if your dog does come up positive treating it as soon as possible is the best option. Cats can also get heartworm disease but it is much more rare. They typically have 1 to 3 worms, and the worms do not survive to the adult stage.
Adult heart-worms living in a infected host such as dog, fox, coyote, or wolf create microfilaria, baby heartworms, that circulate in the animals bloodstream. When a mosquito bites a infected host it picks up the baby worms that develop into larvae in a matter of 10 to 14 days. When this infected mosquito bites another cat or dog the larvae is deposited onto the animal’s skin. Once this larvae is in a new host it develops into adult heartworms.
The cycle of a heart-worm
1. An infected host is bitten by a mosquito
2. The mosquito is now infected with microfilaria (babyheartworms)
3. This same mosquito bites your dog, the larvae istransferred into your dog
4. The larvae grows into heartworms, taking up to 6 months.They then travel to the heart and pulmonary arteries
5. The adult worms reproduce and are found in your dog'sblood, this makes the process happen over again
The whole process takes up to 7 months.
Can I Buy Heart-worm Preventative from a Store, Online Pharmacy or from Jefferson Veterinary Hospital?
The FDA states that the medication is only to be used by licensed veterinarians. This means that all heartworm prevention should be purchased through a pet pharmacy which requires a prescription or straight from your veterinarian. If you purchase medication like this from an indirect source that doesn’t require a prescription you never know what you are actually purchasing and giving to your pet. By purchasing through a veterinarian you are positive of what you are buying and giving to your dogs.
Should I use Heart-Worm Preventative for my Cat?
Heart-worm preventative for dogs cannot be used in cats and the medicine used to treat dogs for heart-worm disease cannot be used in cats as well so preventing your cat from getting the disease is most important.
What are the Symptoms of Heart-worm in a Dog?
Heart-worms can live in dogs for up to 7 years and up to 2 or 3 years in cats. Dogs can show a variety of symptoms of being heart-worm positive, or they can show no symptoms at all. Some symptoms include a cough, lethargy, decreased appetite, and weight loss. Pets can develop heart failure and have a swollen belly due to excess fluid building up in their abdomen. In the community you live in your animals can be at a larger risk than you realize. You could also travel with your pets to an area with higher risks where heart-worm is a lot more common than you know.
Heart-worm disease is spreading to new regions every year. Stray and neglected animals can be carriers of heartworms. Heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states. Infected mosquitos can come inside your home, so both outdoor and indoor pets are at risk.
Testing for Heart-worm
Annual testing is recommended, if your pet is on heartworm prevention yearly and you never miss a dose, then you can test every other year just to be safe that your pet comes back negative. If you miss a few months, that is okay, we understand it happens (probably more frequently than you realize!) but you should get your pet tested before starting up on preventative. Be sure to get them tested as soon as possible in case they do come up positive, treatment needs to be done sooner rather than later. This disease is a serious and progressive disease. The earlier that the disease is discovered, the better the chances are for your pet to recover with treatment.
A heartworm test requires a small blood sample and is placed in a snap pro test machine to detect any indication of heartworm proteins. Puppies under the age of 7 months can be placed on heartworm prevention without requiring a heartworm test, this is because it takes 6 months for the heartworms to grow and be recognized through testing.
What Happens if I Forget to Give my Dog Heart-worm Preventative?
If you accidentally miss a few months of heartworm preventative you should go ahead and restart with the preventative, but test your dog 6 months later. The reason for testing is to make sure they come back negative, heartworms have to be about 7 months old before they can be diagnosed. Sentinel Spectrum is the heartworm preventative that we recommend and sell here at JVH! This specific preventative also protects against parasites that your pet can pick up from outside. Sentinel can protect your pet from heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, and fleas.
Does the Heart-worm Preventative Jefferson Veterinary Hospital Veterinarians Recommend Protect Against Fleas and ticks?
Sentinel is not a full protection from fleas, so we still recommend using monthly flea and tick preventative also. This medication is in the form of a chewable tablet given once every month. Since your pet is consuming this chewable they are getting 100% of the prevention unlike when you use a topical. The topical can get washed off, rubbed off, etc. but the chewable is consumed.
Do Your Veterinarians Offer a Discount on Preventative?
JVH is offering 10% off the price of a limited number of one years worth of prevention with a well exam visit. Please give us a call or send us an email with any questions or concerns, we will be happy to assist you!
Frederick County MD Government Participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day!
Saturday, April 28, 2018 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day!
Turn in your unused or expired medications for safe disposal and dispose of your syringes, needles, lancets and auto injectors! Frederick County Health Department is accepting all these items for disposal at Trinity School at 6040 New Design Road, Frederick MD 21703. Veterinary items are accepted here too! The Program runs from 10am-2pm and is a great opportunity to drop off these used medical items on your way to lunch in downtown Frederick!
Learn more about the program on the Frederick MD Department of Health's website by clicking here!
We love seeing all breeds of cats and dogs at Jefferson Veterinary Hospital! We have quite a few rarer breeds that walk in our doors, and we love to see them too! Siberian Forest Cats originated in Siberia around 1,000 Year’s ago. They were known in the past for hunting skills, specifically hunting rodents to prevent them for coming indoors. They are similar to Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats. They are very energetic, intelligent, athletic, and adventurous. They don’t mind noises or strangers like most cats do when strange sounds are introduced to them. They are hypoallergenic because they produce less Fel d1 which is the protein found on skin and saliva that cause allergic reactions to those that are allergic to felines.
Today, April 8th is Dog Fighting Awareness Day. Dog fighting is one of the most horrific forms of animal cruelty. Although it is illegal in all 50 states it is still occuring in a variety of places. It can occur anywhere, in any kind of community, and in any location in the country. Dogs used in fights are kept in isolated areas, keeping them hidden from the public eye. The use of drugs, steroids, encouraged aggressiveness, and manipulating body parts such as cropping ears or docking tails is used to create “the ideal fighter”. Fights take place in a pit used to contain all animals used. The fights can last a few minutes or a few hours. Any animal involved can endure life threatening wounds. Fighters hold these fights to bet on a dog fighting and make money off of the winner. There are even contests to have “the biggest dog”, many female dogs are also bred to be used in dogfighting as bait. There are about tens of thousands of dog fighters estimated in the US, causing many dogs to suffer every year. If you notice any suspicion of dog fighting call the authorities closest to you, and keep a detailed report of all suspicions. Do not personally get involved. If you have any questions or concerns please give our office a call at 301-473-4111 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harry the cat came in to see our veterinarians for a swollen paw. He is a indoor and outdoor cat. Dr. Ahalt had his veterinary technicians take a x-ray to make sure nothing was broken. The x-ray showed that nothing was broken, so the leg was swollen from a possible abscess since he goes outdoors he could have gotten a wound from fighting another cat or some source of injury that was no longer visible but had caused the swelling. We have him some antibiotics and pain medications here at the hospital in hopes the swelling will go down and make him more comfortable.
McGee came in to have a cystotomy, which means to make an incision into the bladder. His owner noticed a few days ago that there was blood in his urine, and after a full exam and some x-rays we figured out he had a few bladder stones that needed to be removed surgically.
Bladder stones come from crystals forming. The cause of bladder stones depends on the type your pet has. We send out the stones to the lab to figure out what kind they are. Typically afterwards we recommend changing the food to a urinary diet to prevent stones and crystals from happening.
He is recovering well now all snuggled up under some blankets! Check out how big these stones are that Dr. Ahalt removed!
Lyme Disease and Pets in Frederick County MD
Lyme disease is a serious disease that can affect both humans and animals. It is transmitted through tick bites from the deer tick. If lyme disease is not detected in your pet it can cause serious health issues, some of which could continue to come back. The best way to prevent lyme disease is to vaccinate your dogs against lyme disease and give them monthly flea and tick prevention. The lyme vaccine is given to pets at 16 weeks of age, then a monthly booster is required. After that, the vaccine is on a yearly cycle with all other routine vaccines from your veterinarian. Be sure to regularly check for ticks on your animals, as well as keep lawns maintained with treatment to help lower the chances of fleas and ticks having access to your home.
By putting your pet on flea and tick preventative this can also help keep your pet safe from getting lyme disease. We recommend the product called Nexgard. Nexgard is a chewable beef flavored tablet that is given by mouth monthly. All dogs that go outside should be treated and kept on some kind of flea and tick preventative. In the Winter it is still important to keep your dogs on preventatives, even though you may think fleas and ticks aren’t there, they are. They are looking for a warm body to go towards. By keeping your pet on preventatives year round it lowers the risk of your dog contracting lyme disease. If you do choose to stop using prevention in the Winter, it is recommended to start back up on it in March.
Nexgard is a chewable medication, therefore your pet is getting 100% of the protection when they consume the medication. Since it is not a topical you don’t have to worry about greasy residue on the hair or skin, and swimming or giving baths are not an issue. Some side effects from Nexgard include vomiting, diarrhea, and dry skin, although the side effects occurred in less than 1% of all dogs on the medication. Fleas and ticks need to bite your dog for the medication to work properly, the medication itself does not repel fleas or ticks from touching the skin. Fleas are killed within a few hours and ticks are killed within 1-2 days. The tick should be killed long before the bite can affect your pet and transmit the disease if they are kept on preventatives. Nexgard kills all species of ticks including deer ticks, dog ticks, and lone star ticks.
If your pet does contract lyme disease, a treatment of antibiotics from your veterinarian can be very effective. We do a yearly heartworm test on all our canine patients, in this test we can see if they come up positive for heartworm, and 3 forms of lyme disease such as lyme, ehrlichia, and anaplasmosis. If your pet is on heartworm prevention year round we test every other year. If your pet does come up positive we have a treatment protocol for each disease detected by the test. Lyme disease cannot be spread from dogs being around each other. Although, if your pets are living in the same area and one comes up positive, it is recommended to have your other pets tested as well because they could have both been exposed.
There are chances that because of the environment you live in that they can both be positive. Doxycycline is the antibiotic we use to treat lyme disease in our patients. It is a 4 week course of medication and a series of blood tests sent out. Thousands of lyme disease cases have been reported in humans and animals across the United States. Every animal that goes outside is at risk of contracting lyme disease. Symptoms of lyme disease include having a fever, loss of appetite, lameness, joint swelling, and decreased activity. Inflammation in any joints can last for a few days and without treatment it can get worse. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, please give us a call and we can schedule an appointment as soon as possible. If you have any questions or concerns about lyme vaccines or Nexgard give us a call or send us an email and we will be happy to answer them!
It's that time of year when our veterinarians see a lot of flea activity in Frederick county MD. Many of our clients are discovering that they have new residents on their pets, and want to evict them quickly. Ticks are also active, our veterinarians and veterinary technicians are seeing more and more deer ticks on our pets at home, they are very difficult to locate once they are attached due to their small size, but can be spotted crawling in fur on their way to attaching. Jefferson Veterinary Hospital is offering a special on flea and tick AND heart worm preventative this month.
If you buy 2 boxes of Sentinel (6 doses/box) you receive a 10% discount. If you purchase 2 boxes (3 doses/box) of Nexgard you get one additional dose per box free (8 month supply) as well as a 10% discount on the purchase.
This is a great offer, but for all you savvy couponing people out there, the savings offered by your veterinary hospital may be also be stacked with manufacturer coupons to help you score an even better deal! Stop by Jefferson Veterinary Hospital today to get your supply!
Please note: dogs need to be current on their heartworm medications in order to be able to receive new doses. If your dog has gotten behind, we understand, it happens to us too, we will need to do a quick and easy blood test to make sure your dog will be ok to restart the medication again.
Veterinarian and owner of Jefferson Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Ahalt, gave back to the Frederick MD community. He recently participated in a low cost rabies clinic, located at Farm & Home Services off Souder Road in Brunswick MD. These clinics are hosted by Frederick County Health Department and are open to cats, dogs and ferrets age 3 months and older. Veterinarian Dr. Ahalt even saw a goat in line one year. The rabies clinics enable pet owners to receive a low cost rabies vaccines without a veterinary exam. In two hours, Dr. Ahalt vaccinated well over 200 animals. These vaccinations ensures that owners comply with the laws of the state of Maryland, which requires all pets in the state be vaccinated against rabies. Dr. Ahalt was interviewed on Channel 4 during the clinic, and you can read and see the interview here.
There continue to be reported incidences of rabies across Frederick County, MD and Jefferson Veterinary Hospital veterinarian, Dr. Ahalt, stresses the importance of keeping your pets up to date with their rabies vaccines to protect not just them, but your family members and the local community. If you missed this clinic, one of our veterinarians can help you - just call the animal hospital at 301-473-4111 to make a well pet appointment and we can make sure your cat or dog is up to date on his or her vaccinations.
This beautiful spring weather with baby chicks and warm evenings can only mean one thing! Fleas and ticks! There are reports that the mild winter and warmer weather in the summer means the tick population will be at a high this season. Please remember to treat your pets to help keep ticks off them! To help, we are offering 10% off your purchase of two (2) six (6) packs of Sentinel Spectrum OR two (2) three (3) packs of Nexgard. This is in addition to manufacturer’s rebate for Sentinel and Nexgard. The manufacturer's rebate for Sentinel is $50 on twelve (12) doses. The manufacturer's rebate for Nexgard is one (1) single dose free for each three (3) pack purchased. Please call us at 301-473-4111 to find out how to claim this offer, or ask one of our tech's and Dr's during your next appointment!
If you haven't already heard veterinarian, Dr. Ahalt, has recently introduced complimentary bereavement counseling for clients of Jefferson Veterinary Hospital and the local Frederick MD community. The loss of a pet is always difficult, and we hope that by extending our services in this way Jefferson Veterinary Hospital will help to support clients during this challenging time. You can learn about the specifics and how to register through our veterinary website here.
Clients of Jefferson Veterinary Hospital will receive first priority to this group in instances when it fills. The Frederick News Post recently ran a nice article on the new service that we are providing - you can check it out here!
Cancer is an ugly disease. It has affected our beloved receptionist, Barb, and our wonderful veterinarian, Dr. Kalf. Both have bravely fought this disease, and for Dr. Kalf cancer recently reared its head again. She has been undergoing chemotherapy and, one side effect is hair loss. Veterinarian Dr. Ahalt wanted to show support for Dr. Kalf and agreed to shave his head in solidarity. Check out his reaction as the clippers get close to his head of thick curly hair!
Clare Ahalt Photography provided Jefferson Veterinary Hospital with some beautiful pet portraits for the new animal hospital! Our veterinarian, Dr. Ahalt, and a few friends helped to install them over this weekend! We hope that you enjoy these portraits as much as we do - we think that it makes the veterinary hospital look a little less clinical and more warm and welcoming for our clients and patients!
See the finalists in our February calendar pet photo contest!
We are delighted to be in the new Jefferson Veterinary Hospital and are still overwhelmed at the support of the local community. We are looking for an opportunity to give back and provide some complimentary services, not just for our clients, but for everyone in the community. We are considering some ideas, such as a bereavement group, a kids pet vet educational group and a program for girl and boy scouts, and have put together a poll. If you have a moment and wouldn't mind taking less than a minute to let us know you thoughts as to our ideas, as well as provide your own, we would love to hear from you.
We had the ribbon cutting and open house at Frederick County Md's newest veterinary hospital and were overwhelmed by the attendance and support from the local community! We look forward to practicing many years of veterinary medicine at your newest, state of the art animal hospital and cannot wait to continue to give back to the local Frederick County MD community!