Heartworm Disease | Veterinarian Knoxville MD


When an infected mosquito bites a dog, microfilaria (heartworm larvae) are deposited on the skin and enter the bite wound, making their way into the dog’s bloodstream.  The larvae then migrate to the heart and develop into adult worms, which takes about 6 to 7 months. Once the larvae develop into adult worms they begin reproducing.  

Sometimes the dog will not show any clinical signs if they have just been infected by a mosquito. Dogs that have been infected for a long time will develop a cough, have a reduced appetite, fatigue, and even weight loss. 
Jefferson Veterinary Hospital recommends that you give your dog a chewable heartworm preventative (Sentinel Spectrum) once a month. If your pet is not currently on a heartworm preventative, we highly recommend that you bring your dog in to get a quick and easy heartworm test to be sure your dog is negative before starting your monthly heartworm prevention.

Caution: Silicone Cupcake Wrappers Causing Intestinal Blockage in Dog | Surgery to Remove Foreign Body in Dog Frederick MD Veterinarian

photograph of collie cross after veterinarian performed exploratory surgery to remove foreign body

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone! Dr. Ahalt and his family are at the hospital today to discharge Maggie so she can go home and be with her mum and family! Maggie counter surfed and ate a cupcake, complete with reusable silicone cupcake wrapper that caused a blockage and required surgery to remove - if you own a dog that likes to cruise for food, you might want to keep a close eye on your cupcakes before they go rogue or go back to paper wrappers, which are less likely to caused a blockage if eaten. Happy Mother’s Day!


Prescription Refills at Jefferson Veterinary Hospital

veterinarian frederick md offers online prescription refill requests

Spend more time with the ones you love. Jefferson Veterinary Hospital is pleased to offer a time saving and convenient way to refill your prescriptions without having to call the veterinary hospital! Simply fill out this form for prescription medication refills, or this form for prescription food refills, at any time and your veterinarian will review your refill request and either approve it, or contact you for more information.

Please allow us 24 hours, excluding weekends, to process your request. If you are out of medication, or have any questions about your prescription, please call the hospital at 301-473-4111.

Please note: if we have not seen your pet within the last 12 months, or this is a medication that your pet has not been previously prescribed, we will be unable to refill or prescribe the medication without first seeing your pet for an exam. Please schedule an appointment by calling us at 301-473-4111, or you can also schedule online by clicking here.

Growing Vegetables Safely with Pets in Maryland | Veterinarian Point of Rocks MD

Growing Vegetables Safely with Pets in Maryland

The weather is now perfect to start a vegetable garden, but when you have pets there are some plants to avoid that can make your pets sick. We have listed some safe and dangerous fruits and vegetables for our pets. Just some things to think about while getting your gardens ready: 

Safe vegetables around pets:

Asparagus; blueberries; broccoli; cauliflower; cantaloupe; carrots; celery; cucumber; green beans; peas; watermelon; and pumpkin

Dangerous vegetables for pets:

Avocado; eggplant; grapes; mushrooms; garlic; and onion.

dangerous vegetables for pets in Maryland

Garden Plants that are Toxic to your Pets | Veterinarian Point of Rocks MD

It is spring time in Maryland and we are getting our yards ready, and looking pretty. But unfortunately some of our plants can be very dangerous to our pets. In the list below, we have both safe plants and dangerous plants. We want our pets to have fun outside. It’s very rewarding to have our 4-legged family members with us.

Dangerous plants: Aloe Vera; Ivy; Elephant Ear; Philodendron; Sago Palm; Camellias; Fuchsias

Safe Plants: Begonias; Day lilies; Marigolds; Hyacinth; and Snapdragon.

Black lab in Maryland

Microchip Your Pets | Point of Rocks MD Veterinarian

Microchipping your cat or dog is a simple procedure with an overwhelming benefit of your pet being returned to you quickly if they get out and are found by a person who takes them to a local veterinarian or animal shelter. Your veterinarian can place the microchip at Jefferson Veterinary Hospital. The microchip, which is the size of a grain of rice, is injected under your pets’ skin between the shoulder blades. The microchip is a permanent form of identification for your pet. When the microchip is scanned, there is a unique ID code that can identify your pet’s information. Statistically 1 in 5 pets go missing every month, but there have been over 2 million microchipped pets reunited with their families. Please call us at 301-473-4111 or contact us to get your pet microchipped or for more information.

microchip at Jefferson MD veterinarian, near  point of rocks MD

Pet Portraits at Jefferson Veterinary Hospital | Frederick MD Veterinarian


Jefferson Veterinary Hospital is pleased to partner with Clare Ahalt Photography to provide a very limited set of studio pet portrait sessions.

These sessions will take place in Jefferson Veterinary Hospital and includes a 15 minute “Chomp it” session of your dog catching treats, as pictured below, one 8 x 12 photographic print, a low resolution digital file of the same portrait for online sharing and printing up to size 8 x 10. These pet portrait sessions will occur in mid-May.

If you would like to be put on the priority list and get priority at securing a spot, please email Clare at info@clareahaltphotography.com or use the contact form here

pet portrait of a dog catching a treat

TPLO and Stem Cell Therapy on a Dog with a cranial cruciate ligament

Veterinarian Dr. Ahalt saw a dog and diagnosed him with a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in March 2018 and recommend that the dog have surgery, with the veterinary surgeon performing a tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy, commonly known as a TPLO, rather than the traditional cruciate surgery due to the dogs’ size. Dr. Ahalt has found that dogs over 40lbs have an easier recovery from TPLO surgery, rather than the traditional surgery, which for that size dog is likely to result in reinjury to the affected knee. Dr. Ahalt still performs cruciate surgeries on smaller dogs, which have a lesser likelihood of causing injury to the repaired joint.   After much debate and research the owner chose to have the TPLO surgery performed at Jefferson Veterinary Hospital by a board certified veterinary surgeon approximately 1 year after the initial diagnosis. The owner also elected to have the dog undergo stem cell therapy in both the affected joint and the joint in the opposite leg, which had started to develop arthritis. The surgery was a success and the dog is making a full recovery .

Christmas Eve Fire at the Beagle Kennel in Middletown, MD

We were overwhelmed by the response to a post on our facebook page about a fire that happened on Christmas Eve to the Beagle Kennels in Middletown, MD and wanted to follow up. During the late hours of Christmas Eve, and early hours of Christmas morning a terrible fire tore through the beagle kennel, located in Middletown, MD. Passersby bravely ran towards the fire and retrieved as many dogs as they could. The original post read as follows:

This is Dr. Ahalt’s wife, and Dr. A will be upset at me for posting this but I really want people to understand the heart and soul and care that he puts into providing veterinary medicine in the Frederick MD community. Yesterday, Christmas Eve, he worked tirelessly in the animal hospital and came home, where work didn’t stop and he checked over a stray dog that had found his way to our farm and played with him for a bit (we are still looking for the owner) (Edited update, the owner was found - he was also in Frederick MD, the dog had traveled a few miles over fields. Dog and owner were reunited on the eve of Christmas Day)

Around midnight Christmas eve, after Dr. Ahalt had just gotten into bed, his phone rang. He answered and was told there had been a terrible fire at a kennel in Middletown MD that is home to around 22 hounds. It had burned to the ground, there were injured hounds and they needed help immediately. Without hesitation or pause, my husband got up, got dressed and left in the middle of the night to go to the kennel. I met him there as, with that many animals lots of hands are ... well, handy. I got to see the community come together in the early hours of Christmas morning to help the survivors of the fire. Puppies were held, hounds were treated and tears were shed. 

I got to watch my husband work to treat all the surviving hounds and it was pretty amazing. I am always impressed by his work ethic and dedication, but this was something else, and I don’t quite have the right words to articulate his calmness at treating that many animals with such varying levels of trauma. 

We left the kennel around 3am and got home around 3:30. The children woke up with excitement at 5am, completely unaware that their dad had worked through the wee hours of the night. Now, he is sleeping. I do not have the words to say how proud I am, and I know he will be upset that I have posted this, but it’s Christmas, and I cannot let his actions and selfless dedication go by without saying something. 

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with your families, please spare a thought and prayer for the puppies that were lost last night, the ones who are recovering and the people who love them.

Dr. Ahalt provided his services that night at no charge. The surviving beagles had severe burns, and were successfully treated by a combination of veterinarian members of the beagle club and Dr. Ahalt at Jefferson Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Ahalt debrided the beagles, and provided laser treatment and we are pleased to say that all the surviving beagles from the fire were successfully treated and discharged from Jefferson Veterinary Hospital by veterinarian Dr. Ahalt after approximately 6 weeks of treatment.

We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the community after the initial facebook post, and a selection of comments are below.

Thank you for telling this story because your husband is a hero, the best kind...one who doesn’t seek fame or praise. My sister and her husband were there helping and spoke of his selflessness and his continued commitment to the animals and pet owners he loves. The night sounded tragic and it is heart wrenching to here of the loss. But it is comforting to know vets like Dr. A are there to help in the most inopportune times. Thank you Brooks! And all who helped
— Tracey
I am not surprised one bit that Dr Ahalt never gave a second thought to going out last night and every other night he has left his home to comfort and care not only for our beloved pets but for us as well. He has held our old ones as they passed then held us as we grieved. He is doing what he loves and we love him for it. I can’t imagine letting anyone else take care of our precious Grissom. And Thank You, Mrs A for you patient and understanding, I’m sure it isn’t easy to watch him leave, but loving him, and the animals enough to be right there beside him on Christmas eve says so much as you as well.
— Terry
We 100 % agree. Thank you for posting this. People should know how compassionate Brooks is. When he came on board it was evident from the very first visit that we had another gem in our community. His dedication and tenderness with pets throughout the community is note worthy. Thank you Brooks for being YOU. And thank you Ms. Ahalt for sharing. Brooks will get over it 😬
— Diana
Thank you for posting this! He indeed is the best Vet ever!!! He’s been caring for our dogs for 17 years as well as so many families. That act in of itself is applaud worthy but the act to describe is so above and beyond. He makes us all proud. Prayers to those dogs and that family.
— Amy
Thank you, Brooks, for all you do! When I heard Brooks had been there, I wasn’t surprised. He is an amazing, dedicated, caring vet and person. Jefferson Animal Hospital reflects this absolutely.
— Wendy
One of the most compassionate and caring vets. What he did to try and save those animals enforces my trust of him to continue to care for my fur baby. A great man!
— Gloria
Dr. Ahalt’s compassion does not surprise me in the least, he is by far the best Vet I have ever had.
— Linda
Hands down one of the kindest, most compassionate souls I know. I’m so very happy my pups found their way to him!
— Debbie
Thank you for sharing this, and thank you, Brooks, for all you do! When I heard Brooks had been there, I wasn’t surprised. He is an amazing, dedicated, caring vet and person. Jefferson Animal Hospital reflects this absolutely. Thank you, Mrs. Ahalt, for sharing your husband with all of us pet lovers. Happy Holidays!
— Wendy
This is why we go no place else! He truly cares about our pets and the families that love them!
— Sherri
That’s why we love Dr. A. Thank you all for your tireless work, love & caring in our community.
— Karen
We love his office, his staff and him for all the great care to our fur babies over the years. Doesn’t surprise me at all he did all that you wrote about.
— Janet
Dr. Alhalt has been our god-send for so many of our furr-babies. We are not surprised by his fast action, genuine caring, concern and care. Thank you for your passion and for your selfless devotion! Proud to call you our vet! Enjoy your well deserved nap and Christmas with your family!! (Clare, Thank you for posting/sharing! 💗 He’ll get over it! Lol)
— Ginger
Thank you for everything you do and did last night! God put a special person on earth to take care of are animals!! Merry Christmas! God Bless!
— Patrick
Thank you and All your Family for the dedication you show to the local community and Our animals. We are lucky to have such folk in our area
— Andy
So much more than a veterinarian! This is a man that truly loves the work he does! He is one of a kind!
— Kristy
He is truly the best!!! He has saved our little guy twice!!!
— Tracie
So sorry to hear that but I would think nothing different of him. He is the absolute best. ❤️
— Julie
This man has a heart of gold always out to help god bless this man ❤️ he’s a wonderful person inside and out merry Christmas
— Victoria
He is a truly a selfless and caring man. That’s why I bring my pets to him. God Bless him. Merry Christmas to your family.🎅🎄
— Janet
Dr. Ahalt is a phenomenal vet. Saved my dog’s life back in the day when I thought he was dying. I hope he had a wonderful Christmas.
— Mike
He is truly one of the best! I’ve been taking my pup to him for 16 1/2 years!!! So thankful he does what he does!
— Kristen
He is awesome and we love him for his dedication to our furry friends!!
— Theresa
We love you Dr Ahalt! Wouldn’t trust our pets in the care of anyone else. Merry Christmas!!!
— Katie
Thank you for posting this about Brooks. I’m not surprised, though...my family loved having him as their veterinarian!
— Lisa
Thank you for sharing. I think Dr. Ahalt is the best and I trust him 100 percent with the care of my dogs. Merry Christmas and God bless. I pray for all the pups.
— Barbara
We spent yesterday morning at his office with our sick dog Howie. What a great staff he has!! Brooks is an amazing vet and a wonderful man we are blessed to know Merry Christmas Ahalt Family❤️🎄- thank you
— Julie
His passion for animals is beyond measure. We are so thankful for him! He is such an awesome man! Merry Christmas to your family!
— Jessie
Your heart for animals is one of the reasons I recommend you to everyone.
— Gretchen
And this is why we would not go to any other vet. Good work Dr Ahalt. Good work. ❤️
— Kelli
May God Bless Dr. Ahalt of Jefferson Veterinary Hospital for giving of his precious time during the middle of the night to help so many dogs involved in this horrific fire on Christmas Eve. Such a sad, but loving post by his wife shows the huge heart this family has in our community!! This my friends is what the holiday season is all about!!!
— Valerie
This is just one of the many reasons why Dr Ahalt is our vet! He is always thinking of others!! I hope Dr Ahalt was able to get some rest and that you all had a very Merry Christmas! 🎄
— Charlene
I think Dr. Ahalt is the best. He and his office are the only ones we trust with our pets. Get some well deserved rest and have a Merry Christmas 🎄
— Cheryl
Brooks is the man we choose to bring our most precious family members to. This is why. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas. ❤️
— Mary
Absolutely the best vet ever! Extremely grateful to him for saving one of our fur babies years ago. Truly impacted our family forever. Thank you for posting! Merry Christmas to your family.
— Michele
I just met you two last night and you both are frigging fabulous!! Happy Christmas and much rest and love to you and your family.
— Aurora
He is the BEST along with his staff!!!! Merry Christmas 🐕🎄🐶
— Tracy
We have always had the greatest memories of how Dr. Brooks Ahalt has helped us with our animals on the past. We think he is wonderful. Thank your husband for his service and his love for his job. Happy new year to your family
— Barbara
We all love him! Doesn’t surprise me at all!
— Laura
Dr. Ahalt is a true gentleman and his love and compassion for animals is always evident in everything he does. The world needs more people just like him. Prayers to the ones involved in the kennel fire. God bless Dr. Ahalt for helping!!
— Marsha
He’s been there for us with help and through sadness and also a wonderful beacon of calm and professionalism to my in-laws
— John
Bless your husbands heart!!!! He saved my kitties life when an emergency vet md said to euthanize him. Hes an amazing kind hearted person!!!!
— Sue
Merry Christmas to Dr. A and your family. We are all so blessed to have Dr. A in our lives and these precious hounds are as well. Thank you for being there in these animals time of need. These animals will never forget your kindness. My own little hound was in good hands when he crossed the rainbow bridge and we have never forgotten. Thank you for all that you do.
— Sarah
This is why I only trust my animals to the excellent care of Dr. Ahalt ❤️ Thank you for all you do everyday for our animals and our community... Merry Christmas 🎄🎁
— Colleen
Brooks is a wonderful person. I can’t say enough about him. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
— Karen
Dr Ahalt is the finest veterinarian I know. Dedicated to the animals he treats.
— Punk
And this is why we will never take our pets to anywhere but JVH. Good job Dr. Ahalt. Thank you very much for all you do!!
— Shaun
The spirit in the flesh of giving without asking for anything in return . ❤️❤️❤️❤️. Thank You ! 👏👏👏👏
— Carolan
We wouldn’t go anywhere else, truly compassionate
— Sherry
We are so thankful for Dr Ahalt and his love and care for animals!!! Thank you for what you do!
— Cassie
This is a true animal lover, an amazing person with unbelievable dedication to giving care to animals. He has my utmost respect. Thank you for all of you selfless work.
— Kristi
He is a blessed human being! And our world is so much better for his being in it! Thank you for sharing (even if he IS cross!). Happy New Year!!!!!
— Alisonn
His actions come as no surprise. Merry Christmas to you and thank you for touching so many lives. Not just the animals, but their humans as well.
— Kim
There is no one I trust more than Dr Ahalt with my precious babies (Tux & Lily). Very proud of my veterinarian.
— Jennifer
Not only an amazing baseball coach to my son but an amazing vet and community leader. Thank you Brooks for everything you do. Those dogs are lucky. Thank you both for everything you do.
— Amy
Thank you Dr. Ahalt!! Words cannot express how much I admire & appreciate all you do not only for me but for our world. Blessings and love to you and your family at this time of giving.
— Dana
Great man, great community. Awesome to have a dedicated and understanding practice right around the corner. Merry Christmas Ahalt family and everyone.
— Michael
We love Dr Ahalt! Customers for nearly as long as he has been in Jefferson through ten pets and lots of love and tears. God bless you and your family
— Maryanne
Thanks doc for all you do. Some folks are in fields they shouldn’t be in. Not true here. You, doc, are doing exactly what you should be doing. Nobody does their job with such compassion unless it’s where they belong. Thanks for all you do!
— Christine
He is an amazing man. The care he shows the animals he treats and those who love them is beyond that of a vet. I am so sorry for the dogs, kennel and owners, but the is no doubt he (and you) did everything possible to save and comfort all those he could.
— Kimberly
This actually brought tears to my eyes. Wow, just WOW! Your a hero Dr. Ahalt!
— Stehpen
We are all so blessed to have Dr A and his wonder staff. He helped me recently with a tough time so no surprise he jumped to help others. He is a Christmas miracle. Penny bear thanks you too.
— Ellen
Willow & Harper LOVE Dr. A, as do I! He is one of the best, so kind and compassionate. He always takes his time with us and that means the world to us, he never hurry’s in and out...such an awesome one!!! Merry Christmas and we hope u get some rest.
— Jenny
This is amazing! Thank you for sharing this story and reminding us how lucky and blessed we are to have Dr. A in our community! He is the best there is and I am grateful for him and all of his staff! ❤️
— Debbie
Dr. Ahalt is amazing vet and is truly caring and compassionate!
— Lorrie
Such a wonderful and compassionate person. Best vet ever. Merry Christmas Dr. Ahalt from Tucker
— Marti
Thank you for sharing, Mrs. Ahalt. That is why I trust my pets to him - his compassion, humanity and kindness. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday!
— Linda
This is exactly why we trust our fur-babies with Dr. Ahalt. What a wonderful and caring person. Thank you for sharing this story and Merry Christmas.
— Dana
Dr. Ahalt and his staff are definitely the most caring people I know. So blessed to have such wonderful people taking care of our pets♥️ Thanks for all you do. Merry Christmas 🎄🎁
— Amy
We love you Brooks Ahalt and God bless you for your care and dedication! Merry Christmas to you and your family! 💗🎄
— Angela
He was always there when my dog needed him. He is truly an amazing vet.
— Brenda
He is the BEST vet!! Merry Christmas Ahalt’s!
— Beth
That’s why we love him . Thanks for all you do
— Mike
We had the great fortune to suddenly fall into Dr. Ahalt’s care last week for Hailey’s ongoing Mast Cell Tumor treatment. He was confident and knowledgeable about her condition, as well as very compassionate (because it’s still kinda scary). In the little bit we’ve seen him, it’s easy to believe he would give himself so selflessly to help injured and traumatized pups. Wishing him, his family, and his super sweet vet techs, assistants, and staff a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
— Nikki
I never ever say this but God bless you. Such a wonderful heart such a great spirit in this sometimes very cold world. I wish you and your family the very best in 2019
— Starlett
Thanks for your devotion and dedication ... Petey says Merry Christmas!
— Cindy
We are so Thankful for Dr Ahalt. Thank you for all your care for all our animals. Merry Christmas 🎄
— Evelyn
We send our thoughts out to everyone in this tragic event. Dr. A you are the best. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas. This picture only shows how big your heart is as you worked through the wee early hours.
— Holley
This is a fantastic story! Thank you for sharing your husband’s wonderful, unsung work. It appears his passion for his work is shown through deeds not words. Merry Christmas.
— Mathew
Beautifully said. No doubt he would do what he and you did thru the night. God Bless you both. We always appreciate Brooks. In times of sadness as well as keeping our fur-babies happy and healthy. Lots of love to you, Brooks and family.
— Kent
Brooks is a wonderful doctor and a such a caring man.
— Jenifer
God bless! And merry Christmas to your family! True dedication and this is why Dr A is the best veterinarian around...hands down! 💕
— Jesse
I have no words good enough for this man...
— Lelia
You have always been the best to our dogs, and we so appreciate. God bless you all.
— Kathy
Dr Ahalt is a wonderful man and an even better vet. We are blessed to have him in our lives. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you for your kind heart
— Susan
You are amazing Brooks so glad you were around to help them. REST up and enjoy your beautiful family. Merry Christmas and thanks Claire for posting this.
— Nena
How very blessed we are to have Brooks Ahalt and his family who graciously shareshim with all of us pet owners. He is an example to follow and to mirror his life ❤️ love and compassion!!! Thank you and God Bless!!
— Pop pop
Brooks is an awesome vet. So caring, glad he was the vet to help
— Susan
It was a sad Christmas morning, but I will say this is a great practice and a dedicated Dr. Our hearts go out to the pups and all involved. Love your pups and be thankful for every moment shared.
— GSD Domicile
Such a tragic event and so blessed there are wonderful people like Dr. A that step up. Even when exhausted on a holiday night and give of themselves so selflessly for the animals and the community. Such a class act. Such a good and kind man.💕
— Mary
God bless you, Dr Ahalt. There ARE angels among us! My thoughts and prayers go out to you and the puppies.
— Judi
This right here. One of the many reasons we trust Jefferson Veterinary Hospital with our family member. 🐶
— Frederick Macaroni Kids
Thanks Brooks! We are so happy to be clients of your practice and fellow Ruritans!
— Sue
I just got done reading this to my parents. We are so thankful for all of our animals over the years that Jefferson Veterinary Hospital has cared for and were so thankful when Brooks took over the practice. What a blessing Dr. Ahalt has been to our family and the community. Merry Christmas!
— Veronica
Brooks and Clare, you are both awesome, wonderful community-minded people who give your all to those in need. Thank you for all you do.
— Inga
I’ve said before how much I love my vet. Just an FYI, This is why we love him
— Tracey
God Bless and we in Frederick County should be thankful we have people like him in our community. This is what makes Frederick a great place to live.
— Alyce

Open House at Jefferson Vet: Learn About New Alternative Pain Relief Treatments

Stem Cell Therapy

Jefferson Veterinary Hospital is excited to offer two, new, state of the art treatment options to help provide faster recovery time from surgeries and wounds, and pain relief for animals.  The two treatments are Stem Cell Therapy and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injection therapy.

Stem cell therapy uses an animal’s own stem cells, obtained through a minimally invasive surgery, to help reduce inflammation and pain in arthritic joints.  It is primarily used to manage osteoarthritis, but may also have other applications that are under investigation, such as for kidney disease and allergies. Jefferson Veterinary Hospital will focus on using stem cell therapy to help manage pain and mobility problems caused by osteoarthritis and other joint issues.   

Stem cell therapy has the potential to remove the need for, and cost of, long term medication, and frequent blood work that is associated with such medication.  Stem cells work to reduce pain and inflammation for twelve to eighteen months after treatment.

Platelet Rich Plasma Injection Therapy

PRP injection therapy is a non surgical procedure where the animal’s own blood is taken and then platelets are extracted and injected directly into a wound or surgical site to help promote healing.  It aims to reduce the time that it takes for your pet to heal after surgery, and help speed up healing and reduce pain in cases of major wounds.

Come to our open house at Jefferson Veterinary Hospital on January 30, 2019 from 6:30-8:30pm to meet our veterinarians, tour our hospital and learn more about these new therapies!

Golden Doodle Puppy First Veterinary Visit!

Goldendoodle visiting Jefferson Veterinary Hospital, located in Frederick County MD, for her first well pet puppy visit!

(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! 

Goldendoodle puppy visiting a veterinarian in Frederick md
labra doodle puppy snuggles at Jefferson Veterinary Hospital!
Labra doodle 9 week old puppy at jefferson veterinary hospital frederick md
veterinarian visit of 18 week old cocker poo at Jefferson veterinary hospital

Heart Worm in Dogs

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!

sentinel in the pharmacy of a veterinary hospital in Frederick md

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?

sentinel in the pharmacy of a veterinary hospital in Frederick md

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!


National Drug Take Back Day in Frederick MD!

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

Frederick MD County Health Department Syringe Disposal Day Flyer

Breed Spotlight - Siberian Forest Cat

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.

Siberian Forest kitten at Jefferson Veterinary Hospital In Frederick MD

Dog Fighting Awareness Day

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 info@jeffersonvethospital.com.

Cat with a Swollen Paw - Broken or Abscess?

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.

Cat with swollen, possibly broken, paw with x-rays at Jefferson Veterinary Hospital in Frederick County, MD

Bladder stones in dogs { Frederick MD Veterinarian }

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!


It's that time of year again - watch for ticks and help prevent Lyme disease in Frederick County MD!

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.

picture of a tick on a dog in Frederick md


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!