Kingsbrook Animal Hospital's Blog: 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bird Brain?!?

TOKYO - When Yosuke the parrot flew out of his cage and got lost, he did exactly what he had been taught — recite his name and address to a stranger willing to help.

Police rescued the African grey parrot two weeks ago from a neighbor's roof in the city of Nagareyama, near Tokyo. After spending a night at the station, he was transferred to a nearby veterinary hospital while police searched for clues, local policeman Shinjiro Uemura said.

He kept mum with the cops, but began chatting after a few days with the vet.

"I'm Mr. Yosuke Nakamura," the bird told the veterinarian, according to Uemura. The parrot also provided his full home address, down to the street number, and even entertained the hospital staff by singing songs.

"We checked the address, and what do you know, a Nakamura family really lived there. So we told them we've found Yosuke," Uemura said.

The Nakamura family told police they had been teaching the bird its name and address for about two years.

But Yosuke apparently wasn't keen on opening up to police officials.

"I tried to be friendly and talked to him, but he completely ignored me," Uemura said.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Dog Park in Frederick

In mid-November, the City of Frederick held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its brand new dog park, located about 75 yards behind the FCHS's building on 217 West Patrick. The park is located at the corner of Bentz and Carroll Parkway in the former Tot Park.

To help make the dog park experience as pleasant and rewarding as possible for dogs and their owners, the FCHS will offer one-time Dog Park Etiquette seminars, starting in February of 2009.

These seminars, offered in partnership with the City, will be held the first and third Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. at our facility or the dog park, depending on the weather. You can register for the classes at the Talley Rec Center; the cost is $6 for city residents; $12 for non-city residents. We are truly excited to be working with the City on this new venture!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays

The doctors and staff of Kingsbrook Animal Hospital would like to wish you and your family a very happy holiday.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Time to Give Back

From now until March 31, 2009, Kingsbrook Animal Hospital will dontate $1.00 to the Frederick County Animal Control Shelter when you pay your bill using a debit card instead of credit.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Solid Gold Voluntary Recall

Turkey, Ocean Fish, Carrot, & Sweet Potatoes Formula Canned Dog Food 13.2ozCans

POP-TOP CANS ONLY WITH A 'USE BY DATE 01/02/2010' located on the bottom of can. A limited production of this Turkey canned food was made with the POP-TOP, and none of the product was distributed in any of the following states: Arizona, California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii, or Alaska.

Solid Gold has received several complaints regarding mold found in a batch of 13.2 oz canned Turkey, Ocean Fish, Carrot, & Sweet Potatoes Formula, with Pop-Tops. As a precautionary measure, they ask that you return any of this product with the 'Use By Date 01/02/2010'; you will find these numbers on the bottom of the cans.

13.2 oz Turkey and Ocean Fish Canned Dog Food. Purple label with a POP -TOP (Pull top) only. Date on bottom of can 01/02/2010 Turkey and Ocean Fish cans without a Pop-Top are not affected.

Single black female looking for love

I am a single, black female looking for love. I tend to be quiet and shy around strangers but warm up once I get to know you. I love to spend time indoors and snuggle with my one and only. I will be 2 years old in March. I have been spayed, microchipped and am up to date on my vaccinations. I am a victim of divorce and am looking for someone to love.

If you have room in your heart and are interested in adopting Blackie, please contact Nora (Monday, Wednesday or Fridays) at 301-631-6900. Serious inquiries only, please.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Limping Cat

Clyde, a 10 year old domestic shorthair presented to Kingsbrook Animal Hospital with front limb lameness. He was declawed in the front, a procedure that was performed elsewhere when he was much younger. Upon examination, the front paw had an abnormally hard, swollen area and Clyde was taken to radiology. As you can see from the radiograph, there is a bony protuberence from the end of one of the phalanges. Clyde was taken to surgery and it was discovered that one of the nails was not completely removed and had grown continuously in a circular fashion for quite some time. The resulting nail and nail bed was removed and Clyde recovered without incident.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Dog Lives Here

My dog lives here, he's here to stay.
You don’t like pets, be on your way.
He shares my home, my food, my space
This is his home, this is his space.

You will find dog hair on the floor,
He will alert you’re at the door.
He may request a little pat,
A simple “no” will settle that.

It gripes me when I hear you say
“just how is it you live this way?
He smells, he sheds, he's in the way….”
WHO ASKED YOU? Is all I can say….

He loves me more than anyone,
My voice is like the rising sun,
He merely has to hear me say
“C’mon Mason, time to play.”

Then his tail wags and his face grins,
He bounces and hops and makes a din.
He never says “no time for you”,
he's always there, to GO and DO.

And if I’m sad? He's by my side
And if I’m mad? He circles wide
And if I laugh, he laughs with me
He understands, he always sees.

So once again, I say to you
Come visit me, but know this too….

My dog lives here, he's here to stay.
You don’t like pets, be on your way.
He shares my home, my food, my space
This is his home, this is his place….

Author Unknown

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pet Portals

Pet Portals are individual, personalized pet health websites that are available to all clients who have e-mail addresses in our system. Pet Portals display your pets' current health information, such as vaccinations, diets, and prescriptions. You may access the website 24 hours a day to view your pets' health information, request medication refills, request appointments, and to contact our hospital about non-urgent pet health issues.

Kingsbrook clients can access the library of care guides and related videos to review pet related topics ranging from behavior and training to brushing your pets teeth.

You may also use Pet Portals to set up a reminder system to automatically e-mail you when your dog is due for his monthly heartworm preventative or you cat is due for her recheck exam.

Contact our office at 301-631-6900 if you are interested in obtaining a Pet Portal

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tidbits: Factual, Funny , Fascinating

* Images from Google Earth reveal that cattle tend to align their bodies in a north-south direction. Wild deer also display this behavior-a phenomenon that has previously gone unnoticed. The explanation remains a mystery. National Geographic News

* Within 100 milliseconds of seeing a moving swatter, a fly's brain can calculate the position of the impending threat and place its legs and body in an optmal position that allows it to jump in the opposite direction. Science Daily

* The Louisana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and its Wildlife Hospital treated about 100 pets, 100 baby squirrels, and a number of baby birds in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav.

*An estimated 1 in 10 celebrants, or 7.4 million households, plan on dressing their pets in costume this Halloween. Top 5 animal costumes: devils, pumpkins, witches, princesses, and angels. National Retail Federation

* The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted unanimously to designate the manatee as a threatened species rather than endangered. A recent survey found 3,116 manatees in Florida waters, up from 1,267 in 1991. Associated Press

* According to a recent survery, more than two thirds of Americans would rather be stranded on a desert island with their pet than their partner. Reuters

Monday, December 8, 2008

Handmade Scarves To Warm The Heart

Buy a handmade scarf for you or as a gift for someone else! When you purchase a scarf, not only are you keeping you or someone else warm but you're helping an animal keep warm this winter as well! The profits go towards buying blankets and supplies for local animal shelters.

This year’s chosen shelter is Hampshire County Animal Control. I have an extra special spot in my heart for this shelter and the volunteers. It's an outdoor shelter with very little governmaent funding. The volunteers work long hours to insure that the animals are taken care of and that they quickly find good forever homes. They are located in West Virginia but bring many dogs to Frederick for special adoption events held at SuperPetz each month. Most importantly, it is where I adopted my furry child 2 years ago.

The turn around time for scarves is about a week. Each one is custom made, you decide on the look of your scarf! Width, length, color, type of yarn, style, the possibilities are endless! The minimum donation is $10 (of course, you can give more if you like). Add the cost of materials and that’s the cost of your scarf! Extras like fringe are only $1 per scarf! And felt cutout designs are only 50 cents per cutout!

100% of your donation goes directly to the shelter, either in the form of a check or as a box of supplies. With the proceeds from last year, I was able to donate 15 blankets and a check at the shelters winter adoption event at SuperPetz. This is an easy way to help make a difference!

Email me at (subject line “scarf”) for more info or to place an order.

Robyn Wiegand

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Hazards

Holiday seasons are a time of celebration with friends and family-furry, four-legged ones included. But colder weather, decorations and parties can create safety hazards for pets. Make sure your holidays stay festive with these simple tips to keep your pet healthy and safe.

* De-icing products, salt and ice can get into fur and paws, causing skin irritation or more serious conditions. Wipe your pet's paws and tummy when he comes in from the cold. Take care to wipe up spilled antifreeze-dogs and cats like the sweet taste and can ingest deadly amounts. Better yet, use pet-friendly asnitfreeze products.

* Keep holiday decorations out of your pets reach. Ingestion of glass, metal, ribbons or tinsel can lead to serious medical emergencies. Also, snow globes and artifical snow contain chemicals that can be harmful to pets if ingested or inhaled.

* Place live holiday plants high off the ground. Pretty as they are, ivy, holly, mistletoe, pointsettia, lillies and Christmas greens can all be toxic to animals when ingested.

* Everyone loves a party, but sometimes the hustle and bustle of holiday guests can frighten animals and cause them to run away. Designate a quiet, secure room for your pets away from the crowd and be sure that your pet is microchipped and wearing a collar with current ID tags.

* Fatty holiday meats can cause a number of gastrointestinal problems while bones can cause bowel obstructions or choking. And remember: no chocolate for pets. The sweet stuff contains a chemical that is highly toxic to pets.

The doctors and staff of Kingsbrook Animal Hospital wish your family a safe and happy holiday season.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tidbits: Factual, Funny Facinating

* The Red Cross has released a new book dedicated solely to the health and well-being of dogs. Dog First Aid is a health and emergency preparedness guide with a full-length instructional DVD to make care even easier for dog owners. (Press release 10/3/07)

* Fed up with rodents running through Russia's Hermitage palace, Empress Elizabeth decreed in the 18th century that the best ratters be sent to St. Petersburg. Today 50 cats live at the palace, now a museum, and the staff make voluntary contributions to pay for their upkeep. The cats are considered so important that they have their own press secretary. (Press release 10/5/07)

* Animal Care & Control of New York City, a nonprofit organization that runs the city's animal shelter system, recently introduced a novel public awareness ad campaign that features mug-shot like, black and white photographs of 6 different cats and dogs that need a home. Animals waer signs around their necks that list their "crimes"... from "owner missing" and "owner died" to "landlord objected and "victim of divorce." (Press release 8/13/07)

* Thousands of walrus have appeared on Alaska's northwest coast in what conservationists are calling a dramatic consequence of global warming. Usually found on the Artic ice pack during summer and fall, the walrus have gathered on Alaska's rocky beaches as a result of the lowest summer ice cap on record. (Associated Press 10/8/07)

* In an effort to help curb exponential growth in the stray dog and cat population that is taking a heavy toll on Honduran wildlife, much of which is endangered, 24 volunteers from the University of Florida provided free medical examinations, vaccinations, deworming, and spay/neutering for local pets. Intervet. a sponsor of the continuing program, supplied vaccines and funds to cover the cost of medical equipment. (Press release 9/2/07)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Every fall, the Animal Welfare League of Frederick County (AWLFC) begins to prepare for the holidays by making Holiday Stockings for your beloved cats and dogs. These stockings are filled with love in the form of treats, toys and lots of yummy goodies for your furry friend. Only $15 each for dog stockings and $12 for cat stockings, the stockings are packed with yummy treats and toys!

AWL volunteers will sell stockings at the Giant Food Stores on Rt. 40 and Rt. 26 on Dec. 6th, 13th, and 20th from 11:00am – 2:00pm. You can also order a stocking by emailing us at or calling us at 301-663-5855. Proceeds benefit all AWL programs toward ending pet homelessness in Frederick County.

The staff of Kingsbrook Animal Hospital would like to thank the volunteers at AWL for helping animals in need at Christmas and all throughout the year.

Ease Up On The Treats

A veterinary charity in Britain is holding a 100-day fitness contest for eight of the country's plumpest pets. Whichever animal achieves the biggest percentage weight loss and best sticks to its regimen will be the winner. Above, a veterinary nurse holds Tinks, a contender who tips the scales at 21 pounds.

The seven dogs and one cat, selected by the veterinary charity PDSA, are all more than 30 percent overweight and weigh a combined total of 421 pounds. The animals, which will be put on individual exercise programs, need to shed a total of 163 pounds to reach their ideal weight.

"Alongside their daily portions of pet food, owners often show their affection by giving unhealthy human treats such as cheese, buttered toast and biscuits. They don't realize they are actually killing their pets with kindness," said Sean Wensley, a veterinary surgeon at PDSA. (Source: Reuters)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Talking Parrot Saves Toddler

Willie the parrot is no bird brain. He's being credited with helping save the life of a 2-year-old girl who was choking Friday, November 7th at her Denver-area home while her babysitter was in the bathroom, according to

"While I was in the bathroom, Willie (the parrot) started screaming like I'd never heard him scream before and he started flapping his wings," said Meagan, the sitter who owns the bird. "Then he started saying 'mama baby' over and over and over again until I came out and looked at Hannah and Hannah's face was turning blue because she was choking on her pop tart."

Meagan quickly performed the Heimlich maneuver on the child, which dislodged the food.

"If (Willie) wouldn't have warned me, I probably wouldn't have come out of the bathroom in time because she was already turning blue, her lips were blue and everything," Meagan said.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Interesting Animal Communication Facts

* White tailed deer flick up their tails in response to alarm or fear.

* Elephants show love by intertwining their trunks.

* Dogs stretch out their front legs and lower the front half of their body while
keeping their hind half in the air when they want to play.

* When giraffes are attracted to one another, they press their necks together.

* Kangaroos stomp their back legs to communicate danger to nearby kangaroos.

* To show affection, horses rub their noses together.

* When angry at one another, gorillas stick their tongues out.

* In order to fight and also as a pre-mating ritual, swans intertwine their necks.

* Whales leap out of the water in order to send messages to other whales.

* To discover if they are friends or enemies, prairie dogs revel their teeth and
press their mouths together.

* Fireflies flash light patterns in order to reveal location, sex, and other
information to nearby fireflies.

* Eels communicate their location and their territory by releasing electrical pulses
in different patterns and rates.

* Baboons communicate via facial expressions, quite similarly to humans.

* Octopi change colors to reveal anger and readiness to mate. Some great apes also
do the same.

* Birds release calls, which warn others of predators and other dangers. These calls
also coordinate flocking and reveal aggression.

* Male birds also release songs, which attract mates.

* Lemurs use many different noises to indicate different things, such as being
startled, being happy, while greeting others, and when threatened.

* Vervet monkeys release at least 3 different alarm calls, one for each different
type of predator. They have one call for an eagle, one for a python, and the third
is for a leopard.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

PIGS, Inc Rescue Organization

As a self-proclaimed porcine lover and owner of a 4 and a half year old Pot-bellied Pig named LilliAnna, I was excited at the prospect of meeting lots of pigs at the Harvest Fest at PIGS Animal Sanctuary in Shepherdstown, WV, that was held October 18th.

PIGS, a Sanctuary, as listed in their newsletter, “provides refuge to abused, abandoned, neglected, and unwanted animals. Typically, animals residing at PIGS have complicated medical and/or emotional needs, a history of abuse and/or neglect, diseases or ailments related to factory farming or genetic engineering, and are often considered “ unadoptable”. The Sanctuary secures permanent, adoptive homes for many animals, but serves as a permanent refuge for hundreds of unadoptable animals.”

When I arrived at the farm, I was greeted by a few horses and donkeys. Then, continuing up the path by the farmhouse, I saw them- a huge pasture full of pot-bellied wonders! There were also several smaller pastures of elderly, young, and special needs pigs. Another huge pasture contained “farm pigs” massive beauties basked in the sun and enjoying mud bathes. I was also pleasantly surprised to find a large indoor/outdoor Adoptable Cat Facility as well as a lifelong kitty house with an enclosed front porch known as Ivan’s House of Hope, which houses FIV positive kitties for the duration of their lives. FIV is a viral disease of cats, similar to HIV in humans, which depletes the immune systems. With proper veterinary care, a good diet, and devoted caretakers, FIV positive cats can live mostly healthy, normal lives. FIV is more difficult to spread from cat to cat than the Feline Leukemia virus, and does not affect people.

PIGS, Inc is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and all donations are tax deductible. Please keep them in mind this holiday season- the perfect gift for someone that is hard to buy for or has everything. Give a monetary gift in honor of them or drop off some of the following much needed supplies in their name:
Cleaning supplies- bleach, laundry detergent, Pine Sol, Paper Towels, Dish towels and Wash cloths.

Animal Care- Straw, hay, toys/treats/beds for cats and dogs, Non-clumping cat litter, dog and cat food-both canned and dry

Equipment- Large rakes, Brooms, Shovels

Gift Cards to: PetsMart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Sears, Sheetz (for gas), Southern States. Staples, Office Max, Target, Tractor Supply, Wal-Mart

For more information on PIGS, Inc or to make a donation call (304) 262-0080 or visit

E-mail to donate supplies

Written by Jen Scuffins, a tech at Kingsbrook

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Entrepreneur helps dog lovers make new career

A Mount Airy entrepreneur became a certified dog trainer through a prestigious program. Now she's helping others change careers and earn money doing a job they love.

Laurie Luck completed the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior. The academy is, according to a company statement, "An innovative institution committed to educating, certifying and promoting the next generation of animal trainers."

Luck, who holds a master's degree in psychology from George Mason University, has become a faculty member of the academy, skilled both as a trainer and teacher.

Luck founded Smart Dog University in 2001 to help owners improve their dogs behavior.

She served as president of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, is a Delta Certified Pet Partner and offers community outreach through Your Dog's Friend and Reading Education Assistant Dogs.

Luck's experience as a KPA student provides unique insight to the curriculum she teaches as a faculty member, she said.

"I've had firsthand experience with every piece of material -- every video, every assignment, every facet of the course -- from the student's perspective," she said. "I've had to teach my dog everything the students have to teach their dogs. So my frustrations and successes will aid me in my approach to teaching the material. I can share my successful trials (and my not-so-successful trials) with students, showing that I've been in their shoes, that I've experienced similar thrills and frustrations -- and that I made it." Frederick News Post

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tidbits: Factual, Funny, Facinating

* About 50 million kangaroos are harvested annually to produce 30,000 tons of meat. Some environmentalists are promoting "roo" as eco-friendly because, unlike more flatulent cattle and sheep, kangaroos don't produce methane. (Sydney Morning Herald 12/4/07)

* The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies recently announced that it's gone to the dogs-and cats. A policy with collision coverage now covers canine and feline family members paying up to $500 if a customer's pet is hurt or dies in a car accident. The coverage is not yet available in North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York or Virginia. (

* A feral cat survived for 9 days with a peanut butter jar stuck on its head. Tabitha Cain of Barlett, Tenesee, finally trapped the once chubby cat when it was too weak to flee. The cat made a full recovery. (Associated Press 12/1/07)

* The Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), recently shown to be associated with colony colaspe disorder of honey bees, has been in the United States since at least 2002, according to a note published in the American Bee Journal. It has been thought that IAPV was a recent introduction from Austrailia. (Bloomberg Press 11/19/07)

* The Amazonian black ghost knifefish is unique in its ability to swim backward or forward ot catch its prey. (

* Nevermind the children...stick with marriage for the sake of the planet. An analysis on domestic relations and resource uses in the U.S. and 11 other countries found that divorce leads to more households (6 million extra in the U.S.), which means more land, electricity, water, and other goods are consumed. (Philadelphia Inquirer 12/4/07)

* A new study reveals that wine can be used as a disinfectant for sanitizing kitchen countertops, utensils, and even fruits and vegetables. Wines with the most alcohol and the highest acidity were the most effective against E coli and staphylococcus. (Press release 11/12/07)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More Amazing Cat Facts

Did you know...

A flashlight makes a great cat toy! Turn the flashlight on in a dark room, and watch your feline "chase" the beam of light!

Cats love to hide! If yours comes up "missing," be sure to check in the bathtub, in your closet, in the dresser drawers, under a blanket or rug...or anywhere else you can possibly think of!

To make sure your cat's collar fits properly, make sure you can slip two fingers under the collar, between the collar and your cat's neck.

Hebrew folklore believes that cats came about because Noah was afraid that rats might eat all the food on the ark. He prayed to God for help. God responded by making the lion sneeze a giant sneeze -- and out came a little cat!

Backward-pointing spikes on a cat's tongue aid in their grooming.

It costs $7000 to care for one household cat over its lifetime. This covers only the necessities; the pampered pet will carry a higher price.

Cats are the sleepiest of all mammals. They spend 16 hours of each day sleeping. With that in mind, a seven year old cat has only been awake for two years of its life!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Interesting Facts About Pocket Pets

Some interesting facts about small mammals:

"Thumping" is an interesting gerbil behavior. The gerbil will pound both hind legs on the ground when he is excited, stressed, or to attract a mate.

When a gerbil rubs his abdomen on cage accessories, he is marking his territory.

The common pet gerbil originated in Mongolia.

Golden hamsters are also called "Syrian" hamsters, since they originated in Syria.

Fancy mice and rats have been exhibited for over 100 years. The National Mouse Club of Britain was formed in 1895.

Mice are nocturnal animals and are more active at night than during the day.

Rats are extremely clean pets and are among the most intelligent.

Rabbits are not rodents. They belong to a family called "lagomorphs."

Many rabbits learn litter box habits easily.

Rabbits require daily exercise outside of their cage.

Another name for a guinea pig is a "cavy." Wild cavies live in social groups called "herds."

A male guinea pig is a boar and a female is a sow. Baby guinea pigs are pups.

Guinea pigs are unable to manufacture Vitamin C within their bodies therefore this vitamin must be supplemented.

Chinchillas need a dry habitat and need dust baths several times weekly; in fact, a dust bath is necessary to keep a chinchilla's fur soft.

The African Hedgehog, in its natural environment, will eat a variety of insects, worms, and fruit.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ingrown Toenail

Mags is a 5 year old domestic shorthair cat that presented to Kingsbrook Animal Hospital for a nail trim. He had a tendonectomy performed previously. A tendonectomy is an alternative to declawing. The veterinarian removes a section of tendon on each of the front toes. This prevents the cat from being able to extend the front claws and curbs destructive behavior such as scratching furniture, etc. Since an amputation is not performed (as in a declaw), the nail is still present and must be trimmed every few weeks. Mags middle toenail overgrew and punctured his paw pad. The constant irritation caused the toe to swell to four times the normal size and it became infected. After sedating Mags, we trimmed the nail and cleaned out the wound. He went home on antibiotics and will be back to his normal self soon.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

First Annual Halloween Candy Drive Update

Our First Annual Halloween candy drive for our troops was a huge success. With your help, we collected 102 pounds of candy that we will be shipping to our troops who are stationed overseas.

Thank you for supporting our brave men and women who are serving in the Armed Services.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tidbits: Factual, Funny, Fascinating

* Copy Cat, the world's first cloned cat, had her first litter of kittens. These kittens weren't cloned-their father is Smokey, a naturally born tabby. Copy Cat was cloned by Texas A&M University researchers in 2001. Associated Press 12/15/06

* Elephants, rhinos, buffalos, and antelopes from the Munich Zoo create their own power supply-their manure is recycled to generate electricity. The plant, launched in cooperation with Munich city council, operates by fermenting the manure, producing methane which is burned to provide energy. Reuters 12/13/06

* Can a single female cat and her offspring really produce 420,000 cats in seven years? Many rescue programs and humane societies use this figure to encourage neutering, but no basis for this statistic has been found. More realistic calculations put the number at 100 to 5000. The Wall Street Journal 10/12/06

* Researchers have developed DNA tests that can quickly identify 30 different shark species, including those protected under strict laws such as the great white and basking sharks. These tests have already aided the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in several cases of illegal shark fin processing. Associated Press 8/16/06

* The collective name for a group of frogs is an "army." In the case of their warty cousins, it's a "knot of toads."

* The Chytrid fungus has killed millions of frogs and eliminated 120 frog species in the Carribean and Central America. Milwaukee County Zoo workers are trying to help scientists slow the spread of the fungus and are collecting, disinfecting, and housing the few frogs that have survived. Associated Press 12/18/06

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Amazing Cat Facts

Did you know...

Ailurophilia is the "love of cats."

The nose pad of a cat is ridged in a pattern that is unique, just like the fingerprint of a human.

There are more than 500 million domestic cats in the world, with 33 different breeds.

Calico cats are almost always female.

If your cat is near you, and her tail is quivering, this is the greatest expression of love your cat can give you. If her tail starts thrashing, her mood has changed --- Time to distance yourself from her.

Cats knead with their paws when they're happy.

The domestic cat is the only cat species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. All wild cats hold their tails horizontally or tucked between their legs while walking.

During her productive life, one female cat could have more than 100 kittens.

Cats have 290 bones in their bodies, and 517 muscles.

A cat will amost never "meow" at another cat. This sound is reserved for humans.

A cat will kill it's prey based on movement, but may not necessarily recognize that prey as food. Realizing that prey is food is a learned behavior.

Cats rub up against other cats, and people, in an attempt to "mark" them with their scent glands. They most often use the scent glands between their eye and ear (near the temple area) or their scent glands near the base of their tail.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Howl-O-Ween Contest Results

We received alot of great entries but could only choose a few.

The results are in...

In first place is Callie Brown as the UPS delivery cat. Second place is Piper Wiegand as The Little Mermaid and the third place winner is Penny Wiegand as Penny Long Stocking.

Callie wins 75 "Kingsbrook" dollars to be used for products or services at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital. Piper and Penny win 50 and 25 "Kingsbrook" dollars respectively.

Thanks to everyone who entered.

Have a Safe and Happy Howl-O-Ween!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

City Uses DNA To Sniff Out Dog Poop Offenders

An Israeli city is using DNA analysis of dog droppings to reward pet owners who clean up after their pets and punish those who don't. A six-month trial program launched this week, in the city of Petah Tikva, to tackle the dog mess problem in a high tech way. The program asks dog owners to take their pets to a veterinarian, who then swabs its mouth and collects DNA. The city will use the DNA database it is building to match droppings to a dog and identify its owner. Owners who scoop up their dogs' droppings and place them in specially marked bins will be eligible for rewards of pet food coupons and dog toys. Those who leave the poo on the street face fines. I wonder what sin you had to commit in a previous life to find yourself the official dog poop examiner of Petah Tikva, Israel.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Food Recall

Mars Petcare US Issues Voluntary Recall of a Limited Number of Bags of SPECIAL KITTY® Gourmet Sold at Wal-Mart locations in Fifteen States due to Potential Salmonella Contamination

Debra Fair
(973) 691-3536

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- FRANKLIN, Tenn. – October 27, 2008 – Mars Petcare US today announced a voluntary recall of a limited number of bags of SPECIAL KITTY® Gourmet Blend dry cat food sold at Wal-Mart locations in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and West Virginia. The pet food is being voluntarily recalled following a positive test result indicating a potential contamination with Salmonella.

This product should not be sold or fed to pets. Pet owners should dispose of product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle) and return the empty bag to the store where purchased for a full refund.

Salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs and cats, and, if there is cross contamination caused by handling of the pet food, in people as well, especially children, the aged, and people with compromised immune systems. Healthy people potentially infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. On rare occasions, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Animals can be carriers with no visible symptoms and potentially infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

There have been no complaints or reports of illness resulting from consumption or handling of the recalled product.

Pet owners who have questions about the recall should call 1-877-568-4463 or visit

Recalled Pet Food
Product: SPECIAL KITTY® Gourmet Blend Dry Cat Food
Best If Used By Date: AUG 11 09
Best If Used By Date Location: Back of bag
Production Lot Code: 50 XXXX X (Found on back of bag just after "Best If Used By" date. Consumers should look for "50" as the first two digits of the second line.)
UPC Code: UPC code numbers can be found directly underneath the bar code on the package. Please find recalled pet food UPC information below.

3.5 lb.
SPECIAL KITTY® Gourmet Blend
81131 17546

7 lb.
SPECIAL KITTY® Gourmet Blend
81131 17547

18 lb.
SPECIAL KITTY® Gourmet Blend
81131 17548

Affected Stores: Wal-Mart locations in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and West Virginia.

In an effort to prevent the transmission of Salmonella from pets to family members and care givers, the FDA recommends that everyone follow appropriate pet food handling guidelines when feeding their pets. A list of safe pet food handling tips can be found at:

Pet owners who have questions about the recall should call 1-877-568-4463 or visit

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Candy Drive for Our Troops

Between October 31 and November 6, drop off your left-over halloween candy at our office and we will have it sent to our troops who are stationed overseas.  

Thank you for supporting our brave men and women who are serving in the Armed Services.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Welcome Little One

We would like to welcome the newest member of the Kingsbrook family, Jacob Coady Davis. Dr. Davis' son was born on Tuesday, October 21st. Mom, dad and baby Jacob are all doing well. Jacob weighed in at 8 lbs. 3oz. and is 21 inches long.

Congratulations Morse and Caroline!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pet Obesity

Nearly 35% of cats and dogs are overweight. Is yours??

Overweight cats and dogs are more susceptible to a wide range of health problems like:

Early warning signs can include weakness, increased thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, depression or abdominal pain.

Signs can include behavioral changes, limping, stiffness or difficulty climbing stairs.

Signs can include coughing, lethargy, difficulty breathing, intolerance to exercise, loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss.

As there are no visable warning signs, regular checkups are recommended.

Early signs include unkempt haircoat. Look for repeated itching and scratching.

If you think your pet may be overweight, call us at 301-631-6900 to schedule a FREE weight consultation with one of our registered technicians.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Orphaned Kittens

Each year many kittens are separated from their mothers before weaning. Because cats are naturally elusive and industrious creatures, a mother cat outdoors can make use of any quiet, secluded spot to raise her kittens, like under a porch or in a window well. If the mother cat is unsociable, she may be frightened away by people, sometimes moving some kittens and leaving others behind or just fleeing the area for a short time. Mom will also leave to hunt and find other sources of food (like garbage cans). All too often, mom is hit by a car or attacked by another animal, separating her from the babies. It may be hard to tell if the mother cat is still caring for the babies and without warmth and food, kittens can die in a short time.

Orphaned kittens need lots of TLC. They usually only weigh about 4 or 5 oz at birth and their eyes and ears are closed for the first 2 weeks of life. They need to be fed every 2-4 hours around-the-clock, depending on their age and health. Kittens should only be fed kitten milk replacer (a brand name is KMR) to provide adequate nutrition (cats are lactose intolerant and should never be fed cow’s milk). Keeping them warm is also very important, just like with newborn humans. Of course, babies should be held and petted frequently so they become socially bonded with people, especially if their mother was feral.

Kittens should be dewormed several times, starting at 2-3 weeks of age. Around 5-6 weeks old, kittens can be weaned onto soft food or “gruel” (a mixture of moistened kitten food and milk replacer). They can receive their first vaccinations at 6 weeks to ensure they develop proper immunity to disease.

“Hansel and Gretel” were found by a client of Kingsbrook Veterinary Hospital and are estimated to be around 10 days old, with an approximate birthday of September 6, 2008. They will be ready for their new homes in about 6 weeks, ask for Jen if you are interested in providing one (or both) with a forever home!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Soft Paws

Above: Otis models his Halloween colored soft paws nail caps.

Scratching is a cat behavior that some pet owners find offensive. Especially when it results in the destruction of furnishings, drapes, carpet and other household valuables. Scratching is a natural instinct that cats should be able to exercise in one way or another. We at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital advocate offering your cat a variety of scratching surfaces such as corrugated cardboard and posts that offer different textures of carpet as well as sisal rope. For those cats who still have a tendency to go to things that their owners don't want them to scratch, Otis is modeling softpaws. Softpaws are a safe and painless remedy to the scratching problems experienced by some cat owners. They are a soft rubber nail cap that is glued to the nails. The cat is still able to exercise their claws but the sharp tip of the nail is covered to eliminate any damage to fabrics and other surfaces. Otis was recently adopted from Frederick County Animal Control along with a young adult cat named Bentley who is wearing Halloween color soft paws as well.

If anyone has questions about where to acquire and how to apply softpaws please call the clinic any time or visit

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tidbits: Factual, Funny, Facinating

* According to Veterinary Pet Insurance, the top 3 most expensive conditions in pets are disk disease, lung cancer, and gastric torsion in dogs; and foreign body ingestion (small intestine), urinary tract reconstruction, and foreign body ingestion (stomach) in cats. (Press release 1/19/08)

* Cats step with both left legs, then both right legs when they walk or run. The only other animals that do this are the giraffe, camel and the maned wolf. (

* According to recent national survey, if a recession hits in 2008, pet owners are far more likely to cut back on luxury items, electronics, even groceries, than on care or supplies for their pets. (Press release 1/21/07)

* If people could gorge like crocodiles, a 130 pound person could down a 30 pound hamburger in one sitting. Crocodiles can eat this way because of a heart valve that lets blood bypass the lungs and flow through straight to the stomach, enabling secretion of gastric acid extraordinarily quickly. (2008

* All ancestral roads for the modern day domestic cat lead back to the Fertile Crescent, the area around the eastern end of the Mediterranean, according to researchers at the University of California-Davis. (Press release 1/28/08)

* Rather than adopting-and abandoning-a live chick or bunny this Easter, kids can adopt their very own virtual pets online, and learn to build a simple Web page to give their pets a home. (

* Flare-ups of avian flu in Vietnam have prompted many diners to turn from chicken to rat. Rats have been a delicacy in rural areas of Vietnam for centuries; urban area restaurants are featuring it grilled with lemon grass or roasted in garlic on their menus in 2008, the Year of the Rat. (Wall Street Journal 2/7/08)

* Fleas can jump 130 times higher than their own height. In human terms this is equal to a 6-foot person jumping 780 feet into the air. (

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Custom Pet Portraits

One of our new clients, Suzanne Bloom, is opening her own business. Gibbons Rock Studio offers custom pet portraits from your photograph. Visit her website ( view samples of her work, get pricing information and tips on how to best photograph your pet.

Suzanne will also be offering wildlife postcards and custom framing.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

World Rabies Day Poster Contest

The Center for Veterinary Public Health at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is sponsoring a poster contest with the theme "You Can Prevent Rabies." The poster contest is being held in recognition of World Rabies Day 2008, and is open to all Maryland students in grades 5-8. Posters should illustrate the ways people and communities can help prevent rabies.

Students will be divided by grade into two groups: 5th and 6th graders and 7th and 8th graders. All entrants will receive a World Rabies Day bookmark.

First, second and third place prizes will be awarded in each of the two groups. The first place winner in each group will receive a World Rabies Day messenger bag and choice of: 2 tickets to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, or 4 tickets to the Maryland Science Center, or 4 tickets to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Submissions are due by October 24, 2008 and winners will be announced on November 14th, 2008. For more information visit, or call 410-767-5649.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

World's Ugliest Dog

That dog is uggghly!

The cry went up as a bald, three-legged, one-eyed dog from Florida was honored as the "World's Ugliest Dog" at the 20th annual ugly dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Florida.

Gus, a hairless, Chinese-crested with skin cancer, was named 2008's ugliest dog at the contest after competing with 11 other dogs from across the nation. Gus won in the pedigree class and went on to triumph in the overall competition.

He took home two trophies and $1,600 in prize money, which his owners are going to spend on radiation treatments. Gus has skin cancer, which led to the amputation of one leg.

His missing eye is the result of a fight with a tomcat.

Gus took the honor in stride, sleeping for much of the three-hour contest wrapped in a blanket. Owner Jeanenne Teed called the win a no-brainer even though she conceded Gus "doesn't have a leg to stand on."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Seeing Double...Cloned Pets

After loosing her dog Booger to Cancer, Bernann McKinney had him cloned. Cells from her beloved pet were transported to RNL Bio lab based in Seoul, Korea. The cells were nutured and developed into embryos. The embryos were transplanted into two surrogate mixed breed females who carried them to term. Five cloned puppies were born at a cost of $50,000. Ms. McKinney is the world's first commercial cloning client. She plans to take three of the cloned dogs to her home in California and donate the others to work as service dogs for the handicapped or elderly.

McKinney said she was especially attached to Booger because he saved her life when she was attacked by another dog three times his size. The incident resulted in her left hand being severely injured, and also damaged her leg nerves and stomach. Doctors later reconstructed her hand and she spent part of her recovery in a wheelchair.

RNL Bio charges up to $150,000 for dog cloning but will receive just a third of that sum from McKinney because she is the first customer and helped with publicity, said company head Ra Jeong-chan.

Monday, September 29, 2008

2nd Annual Howl-O-Ween Costume Contest

2007 winners featured clockwise above:

First Place is Oprah (starring Alexis Weigand)

Second Place (tie) is Paris Hilton (starring Piper Weigand with her pet, Tinkerbell) and The Ace of Spades (starring Callie Brown, can you find all 5 spades?)

To enter the 2008 Howl-O-Ween Costume Contest e-mail your picture (one per pet, please) to by October 24th. Winners for first, second and third place will be anounced on October 31.

First place will receive $75 in "Kingsbrook Dollars", which may be applied towards any goods or services provided by Kingsbrook Animal Hospital. Second place winner will receive $50 "Kingsbrook Dollars" and third place will receive $25 "Kingsbrook Dollars".

Good Luck and Happy Howl-o-Ween

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fine Arts in the Valley

Once a year, artists in Maryland's beautiful Middletown Valley throw open their studio doors to the public. The self-guided Fine Arts in the Valley tours allow friends, patrons, and visitors to explore the Valley, talk with each individual artist, and learn about how and why they create. It's also an opportunity to view and buy their latest works in a variety of media, subjects, and styles.

10th Anniversary Group Showing at
Frederick Cellars October 4th, 5-9pm
Frederick Cellars, 221 N. East St, Frederick, MD

This event is FREE and open to the public.

Art will be for sale and commissions are welcomed. Studios are open at other times by appointment with the individual artists.

Anne Gibson Snyder, a Kingsbrook Animal Hospital client, will have her art featured at the show.

Anne's formal art training began at age nine with noted art educator Edwin Connelly. She studied with Julien Binford at Mary Washington College, and received the Schnellock Award for the most promising painter upon graduation. Anne was selected as one of 25 artists to participate in "Paint Annapolis", a juried exhibition sponsored by the Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painter's Association. She divides her time between her studio in Middletown and a North Carolina retreat.

"I paint from life. The smells, sounds and subtle colors that occur in nature give added inspiration to my work".

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Open House Art/Ceramic/Sculpture Show

Saturday, September 27 through Sunday, September 28
from 10am-5pm at 802 Young Place, Frederick MD 21702

Meredith's All media paintings, Ceramic Sculptured Teapots, Bowls and Tiles
Val Parsons' Woodfired Bowls, Jars and Birdhouses
Fran Blauer's Metal Sculptures and Lawn Art

An artist since childhood, Meredith Mercer-Akre is a creator of small worlds of color, texture, and context. Across the plastic and graphic arts, she maintains an approach that is, by turns, pure, contemplative, rough, sharp, light, dark, but always unabashedly optimistic. An eighth generation Fredericktonian, she has dedicated herself to the local history and service of the area as tour guide, storyteller, volunteer, teacher, and as ambassador for the cultural life and the philanthropic goals of her city. She splits her time between studios in Frederick and St. Michaels, Maryland.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Collecting Donations for FCAC

Hi. My name is Olivia Carlson and I am currently attending Middletown Middle School. I am collecting donations for the Frederick County Animal Control for a student learning project. The reason I picked this project is due to my love for animals. I will have a drop box located at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital for collecting donations from September 20th until October 4th. If you donate, one more animal will be happy. Any donation will be GREATLY appreciated.

Needed items:

*Pet toys (all types; small animals, including birds and farm animals)
*Pet cages
*Pet beds, bedding and litter
*Pet food and treats
*leashes and collars
*towels and blankets
*Pet care books
*Pet care videos
*Pet shampoos or baby shampoo (used and samples okay)
*Dawn dish washing detergent
*Gift certificates from Drs. Foster and Smith pet supply
*Acidophilus from health food store
*Fencing material or fence repair