Kingsbrook Animal Hospital's Blog: October 2008

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.