Kingsbrook Animal Hospital's Blog: 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Where's your BFF?

Not your best friend forever - your Black Footed Ferret!
The Black-footed Ferret is the most endangered land mammal in North America. It was declared extinct in 1979 but a live BFF was seen in Oct. 1981. Since it's observation in 1981, conservation efforts have been implemented to help increase and maintain the population of this small mammal.

The Black Footed Ferret is a member of a large group of mammals known as mustelids, or musk-producing animals. Sixty-four species of mustelids live throughout the world, except on the continents of Australia and Antarctica. Mustelids range in size from the least weasel, which weighs barely 1-2 ounces, to the sea otter, which may weigh over 100 pounds. Most mustelids have long bodies and short legs, well-developed claws, short, rounded ears, and scent glands under the tail. Their large skulls and strong jaws and teeth are adapted for eating meat. Some well-known members of the mustelid family include mink, skunks, badgers, martens, fishers, weasels, stoats, polecats, wolverines, and the European, or domestic ferret, sold in pet stores.

Black-footed ferrets are primarily nocturnal, making direct observation difficult. Most of their daytime activity is limited to the first few hours following sunrise. They spend most of their time underground in prairie dog burrows, typically spending only a few minutes aboveground each day to hunt or find new burrows or, in spring, mates. In burrows they sleep, cache their food, escape from predators and harsh weather, and give birth to their young. Ferrets do not hibernate, but in winter, the amount of time they are active and the distances they travel decrease substantially. They have been found to remain underground in the same burrow system for a week at a time in winter. In contrast, one ferret was observed traveling over six miles in one night during autumn. Males are more active than females and distances traveled by males tend to be about double that of females.

Loss of habitat is the primary reason black-footed ferrets remain near the brink of extinction. Conversion of native grasslands to intensive agricultural uses, widespread prairie dog eradication programs, and the fatal non-native disease plague have reduced ferret habitat to less than two percent of what once existed. Remaining habitat is now fragmented, with prairie dog towns separated by expanses of cropland and human development. Black-footed ferrets also face threats in the wild from predators and disease. Coyotes, great-horned owls, golden eagles, prairie falcons, badgers, bobcats and foxes all prey on ferrets. Several diseases affect black-footed ferrets, the most serious being canine distemper and sylvatic plague.

For more information on the BFF or how you can help save this adorable critter visit the Black-footed Ferret Recovery Program at:

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Clay Owl

Allison Monville Jachowski who worked @ Kingsbrook Animal hospital now has her own pottery buisness.We all have enjoyed her work for a long time and we are all so happy that she is sharing her talent with everyone.
her websight

Holiday Party

The Doctors and staff of Kingsbrook Animal hospital enjoyed a fun filled evening at Bowl 300 for our holiday party. Kelly was the breakout superstar of the evening with 3 strikes in a row , she credits her skill to hours of wii bowling.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Not a creature was stirring...

The veterinarians and staff of Kingsbrook Animal Hospital would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

New Reindeer

Murphy was in for a check up to make sure he was healthy in case Santa needs his help delivering gifts tonight.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Look how big I've grown!

Ann Strathern's golden retreiver that was born at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital by C-section turned 8 weeks today! "Quantum Singularity", or "Q" for short, has grown into a gorgeous toddler. We are thrilled to see such a healthy boy!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

When Good Dogs Eat Bad Things

Top 10 Things Dogs Shouldn’t Eat, but Do

10 things dogs eat, but shouldn’t. It was kind of interesting, but none all to surprising. Here’s his top ten list:

10: Sticks. You bet. They splinter, poke and tear up a gut at times. In my experience, it’s not just the stick, but the peritonitis which may result from the “poke.”

9: Hair ties and hair ribbons. Yes, girls smell better. So do their accessories. Dogs can’t help but like picking these attractive things up and chewing/swallowing them.

8: Bones. We have a lot of barbecues and cookouts around here. Most people know to keep chicken and turkey bones away from pets, but, yes, pork, venison and beef bones can sometimes cause trouble in the intestines of dogs. The best rule? No bones at all.

7: Corn Cobs. Yes, just had one week before last. Funny how they’ll go down an esophagus but get caught in an intestine.

6: Chew Toys. This is unfortunate because these are marketed for dogs to chew on for either dental care or entertainment purposes. I have even seen dentrifice-purposed rope toys in dogs wrap themselves around the intestine, causing strangulation of the bowel in segments once the rope “unwinds.”

5: Balls. Racquetballs, tennis balls, toy rubber balls, yes, I’ve seen them caught in the throat, esophagus, stomach and intestine in my practice life. The good news? At least they light up well on the x-rays.

4: Rocks. Rocks in solitary form or an amalgamation of small rocks together can really clog up the works in an intestine. Why do dogs in particular eat rocks? Do they need minerals? Are they that bored or that hungry? All I know is, they do. The good news diagnostically is that, like bones and balls, these are easily spotted on x-rays.

3: Panty hose. What a fetish! Nylons have an interesting texture. Whether it’s that texture or the scent, we’ve seen our share of these, both wadded up and acting as linear foreign bodies. Some women tell me that we’ve removed some of these weeks after they thought the hose were missing. A testament to malleability, I guess.

2: Briefs/Panties. Equal time for men’s underwear here. I’m talking about tighty-whities in most cases, but, they’re tinted a different color by the time we remove them.

And Number 1? Socks. That’s so common, it’s not surprising. Foot odor is very attractive to dogs, and socks get thrown loosely on the floor, particularly by men.
There you have it, so the next time you just throw your socks on the floor, remember that you might have to have the vet take them out of your dog later! Now you have no excuses for not putting all the dirty laundry in the hamper!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pet treats may be contaminated with Salmonella

The Food and Drug Administration has issued an alert warning consumers to dispose of pig ears and beef hooves from Pet Carousel because of potential Salmonella contamination. PetSmart recalled two Pet Carousel products in response to the situation.

Pet Carousel distributed the potentially contaminated pig ears and beef hooves nationwide for sale in pet food and retail chain stores. The company sells pig ears under the brand names of Doggie Delight and Pet Carousel. The company sells beef hooves under the brand names of Choo Hooves, Dentley's, Doggie Delight, and Pet Carousel.

In September, the FDA detected Salmonella organisms during routine testing of pig ears from Pet Carousel. The finding prompted an FDA inspection of the company's manufacturing facilities. Further testing detected Salmonella organisms in beef hooves, pig ears, and the manufacturing environment. According to the FDA, Pet Carousel manufactured the pig ears and beef hooves under conditions that facilitate cross-contamination within batches or lots.

The FDA has not received any reports of illness in association with these products.
PetSmart's recall of Pet Carousel products applies only to Dentley's Bulk Cattle Hoof, bar code 73725703323, and Dentley's 10 Pack Beef Hooves, bar code 73725736055, that customers purchased between Oct. 2 and Nov. 3. Customers can return the products to any PetSmart store for a complete refund or exchange.

Screening a potential pet sitter

Last-minute travel plans are stressful enough, but finding someone to tend to your pet can add another level of anxiety.

Start with a recommendation from a friend, neighbor, veterinarian, humane society or dog trainer. Make sure your chosen pet sitter is affiliated with a professional pet sitting organization or has solid references. Once you have made a list of trustworthy and reliable sitters in your area, the next step is to call and interview candidates over the phone.

Ask what they charge, how long the visits are, if they are bonded and insured, and if they have any special skills, such as caring for birds or reptiles or veterinary experience. When calling an agency, find out how many pet sitters they employ and their days of operation. Inquire whether they charge extra during the holidays. And make sure you ask them to bring references if you decide you want to meet them in person.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dr. Jennifer Kim and baby Kaitlyn stopped to visit us! They are both doing very well. Kaitlyn will be 6 months old December 12th.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Three things that facilitate longevity and comfort in your pet

Feeding a good quality food that is appropriately formulated for your pets life stage and size is a very important consideration to keeping your cat or dog healthy and living comfortably. Nutrition in our pets has all the same benefits that eating mindfully have for us. Lean meats, fruits and vegetables, grains and lowfat dairy products are all components of a healthy diet for humans. We have faith in the pet food manufacturers that invest in nutritional research that provides our pets with nutritionally viable and complete diets for youth, adult and senior maintenance as well as addressing the specific nutritional needs of patients who suffer from a variety of diseases.

*Healthy weight
Feeding your dog or cat the right portion of food daily to maintain a healthy body condition where ribs are easily felt but not seen, and where a waist line is appreciated. Overweight or obese animals suffer all the same ailments that we as people suffer when we are heavier than we should be. Common ailments are diabetes, joint disease, heart and lung disease and problems with gastrointestinal function. All of the discomfort and expense related to these problems can be avoided by feeding an appropriate portion of food and if you notice your pets weight increasing talk to a veterinary health professional about how to reduce calorie intake to promote weight loss and then maintenance.

*Preventative care
Taking your pet to see a veterinarian on an annual or semi-annual basis and keeping your pet current on preventative care such as vaccinations, deworming, heartworm prevention, proper grooming, skin and ear care, fecal and bloodwork exams and dental care is a great way to facilitate your pets good health and most importantly maximize their comfort and quality of life.

If you have questions about how to provide these three basic concepts to your pet, we welcome your interest in your pets health and would be glad to answer questions or help you come up with a plan that meets your pets needs as well as your own.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Claim your pooch

This past July, US State Rep Thaddeus McCotter proposed the Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) act, allowing pet owners to deduct up to a maximum of $3500 per year for pets’ expenses, including veterinary care. If passed, pet owners would be able to claim their pet(s) in the 2010 tax year. Under this legislation a pet is any legally owned, domestic animal.

To support this bill, write to your MD State Representative, Roscoe Bartlett.

Contact Congressman Bartlett
Washington, D.C. Office Information
2412 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-2006
Phone Number: 202-225-2721
Fax Number: 202-225-2193
To e-mail him, use the form:

To read the bill, visit

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Curious to know what is in your mixed breed dog?

We now can analyze you dog's DNA to detect breeds in its genetic makeup. The Wisdom Panel is an in-depth breed analysis that examines over 300 sites along your pet's DNA. Just a blood sample will profile your dog's historical background, physical traits and breed-assoicated behaviors. This genetic information will also help you work with your veterinarian to provide the best possible care for your dog.

If you are curious about your dog, just ask a Kingsbrook Animal Hospital staff member about The Wisdom Panel.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

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 place.

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

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday/Seasonal Hazards for our pets

Here are some things to steer clear of during the holiday and winter season!


Lilies- typically found in holiday flower arrangements, several varieties can be deadly to cats. Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Easter, Stargazer and Casa Blanca lilies all potentially cause kidney failure in cats.

Poinsettias- contrary to popular belief ingesting this holiday flower is not severly toxic to our pets. They can be irriting to the mouth and stomach if eaten, and therefore can cause mild vomiting or nausea.

Mistletoe- when eaten, this can often times just cause gastrointestinal upset but has the potential to cause cardiovascular problems.

Holly- vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and lethargy are the symptoms to look for if your pet eats this festive plant.


Chocolate- in order from most toxic to least toxic- baker's, semi-sweet, milk chocolate. Keep in mind that a lot of holiday sweets are wrapped in foil and this can also be irritating to your pets GI tract as well as a potential cause for blockage.

Alcoholic beverages (hops as well, if you are brewing at home)
Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered expresso beans)
Fatty foods
Yeast dough
Onions, onion powder
Moldy or spoiled food


*Christmas Tree water- sometimes contains fertilizers which can cause stomach upset. It is also a breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Also if you have a real tree- make sure it is secure to prevent pets from knocking it over.

*Electric Cords - your pet is at risk for electrocution if chewed. Avoid exposure by hiding or covering cords.

*Ribbons or Tinsel- if ingested these linear items can get caught in the intestines and cause and intestinal obstruction

*Batteries- batteries contain corrosives that can ulcerate the mouth, tongue, and the rest of the GI tract.

*Glass ornaments- Can cut the mouth, tongue and rest of the GI tract if eaten. If your pets seem interested in ornaments- a suggestion would be to decorate the bottom third of the tree with wood or plastic ornaments that won't break.

*Burning Candles


Antifreeze- unfortunately, antifreeze tastes sweet to pets, and very small amounts of it can be lethal. If you think any amount (even just a teaspoon) has been ingested by your pet, contact your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately ( 1-888-4ANI-HELP).

Liquid potpourris- some types can result in severe oral, skin, or eye issues

Ice Melting products- can be irritating to skin and mouth. Symptoms include excessive drooling, vomiting, and lethargy.

Rat and Mouse killers- used more commonly during cold weather. Just make sure they are in places your pets can not reach them.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Meet Katie and Max

This is Katie and her friend Max. Katie is a high school student that is volunteering at our hospital so that she may learn more about Veterinary medicine.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

‘Tis the season for friends, family and holiday feasts—but also for possible distress for our animal companions. Pets won’t be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey or a pet-unfriendly floral arrangement, or if they stumble upon an unattended alcoholic drink.

Check out the following tips from ASPCA experts for a fulfilling Thanksgiving that your pets can enjoy, too.

Talkin’ Turkey
If you decide to feed your pet a little nibble of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Don't offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria.

Sage Advice
Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste delish, but it and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.

No Bread Dough
Don't spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him raw bread dough. According to ASPCA experts, when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal's body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.

Don't Let Them Eat Cake
If you’re baking up Thanksgiving cakes, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.

Too Much of a Good Thing
A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem. However, don't allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse—an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, it’s best keep pets on their regular diets during the holidays.

A Feast Fit for a Kong
While the humans are chowing down, give your cat and dog their own little feast. Offer them rawhide strips, Greenies or made-for-pet chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner—perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy—inside a Kong toy. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy.

The veterinarians and staff of Kingsbrook Animal Hospital would like to wish everyone a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More Dog Facts

Dachshunds are the smallest breed of dog used for hunting. They are low to the ground, which allows them to enter and maneuver through tunnels easily.

Developed in Egypt about 5,000 years ago, the greyhound breed was known before the ninth century in England, where it was bred by aristocrats to hunt such small game as hares.

Dogs are mentioned 14 times in the Bible.

Dogs can hear sounds that are too faint for us to hear, and also can hear noises at a much higher frequency than we can. Their hearing is so good that they probably rely more on sound than on sight to navigate their world.

Dogs' eyes have large pupils and a wide field of vision, making them really good at following moving objects. Dogs also see well in fairly low light.

Dogs have far fewer taste buds than people -- probably fewer than 2,000. It is the smell that initially attracts them to a particular food.

Dogs in monuments: The dog is placed at the feet of women in monuments to symbolise affection and fidelity, as a lion is placed at the feet of men to signify courage and magnanimity. Many of the Crusaders are represented with their feet on a dog, to show that they followed the standard of the Lord as faithfully as a dog follows the footsteps of his master.

Dogs may not have as many taste buds as we do (they have about 1,700 on their tongues, while we humans have about 9,000), but that doesn't mean they're not discriminating eaters. They have over 200 million scent receptors in their noses (we have only 5 million) so it's important that their food smells good and tastes good.

Each day in the US, animal shelters are forced to destroy 30,000 dogs and cats.

Every known dog except the chow has a pink tongue - the chow's tongue is jet black.

Every year, $1.5 billion is spent on pet food. This is four times the amount spent on baby food.

For Stephen King's "Cujo" (1983), five St. Bernards were used, one mechanical head, and an actor in a dog costume to play the title character.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

More Cat Facts

Not every cat gets "high" from catnip. Whether or not a cat responds to it depends upon a recessive gene: no gene, no joy.

Of all the species of cats, the domestic cat is the only species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. All species of wild cats hold their talk horizontally or tucked between their legs while walking.

One litter box per cat, plus an extra box, is the best formula for a multi-cat household.

Orange and lemon rinds are offensive to cats. A light rubbing of orange peel on furniture will discourage your cat from using it as a scratching post.

People who are allergic to cats are actually allergic to cat saliva or cat dander. If the cat is bathed regularly, allergic people have better tolerance to it.

Perhaps the oldest known female cat was Ma, from Devon, who was 34 when she died in 1957.

Purring is part of every cat's repertoire of social communication, apparently created by the movement of air in spasms through contractions of the diaphragm. Interestingly, purring is sometimes heard in cats who are severely ill or anxious, perhaps as a self-comforting vocalization. But, more typically, it is a sign of contentment, first heard in kittens as they suckle milk from their mother.

Retractable claws are a physical phenomenon that sets cats apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. I n the cat family, only cheetahs cannot retract their claws.

Siamese cats originated in Siam—modern day Thailand. Legend has it that they were the companions of kings and priests and that they guarded temples. Some trace Siamese origins to Egypt and Burma, but many dispute this idea. Siamese were first brought to England in the late 1800s.

Siamese kittens are born white because of the heat inside the mother's uterus before birth. This heat keeps the kittens' hair from darkening on the points.
Sir Isaac Newton, who first described the principle of gravity, also invented the swinging cat door for the convenience of his many cats.

Some common houseplants poisonous to cats include: English Ivy, iris, mistletoe, philodendron, and yew.

Tests done by the Behavioral Department of the Musuem of Natural History conclude that while a dog's memory lasts about 5 minutes, a cat's recall can last as long as 16 hours.

The ancestor of all domestic cats is the African Wild Cat, which still exists today.

The Ancient Egyptian word for cat was mau, which means "to see".

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Routine dentistry is the WAY TO GO!

Staying on top of your pets oral health has many benefits to your pet as well as your pocket book. There are a variety of things you can do at home to maximize your pets oral health. You always have to consider that both dogs and cats have genetic influences and breed predispositions that effect the degree of dental disease they deal with. Some animals can be much more challenging to keep healthy than others. The number one thing any pet owner can do for any variety of dog or cat is brush their teeth daily or at minimum 3 times a week. This has all the same benefits it does for us as humans. Other things done at home are to provide dental diets, appropriate chew treats that promote plaque and tartar reduction, and oral rinses that minimize the bacterial load in the mouth that precursors plaque formation.

If needed, getting your pets teeth professionally cleaned by your veterinarian before there is significant dental disease and even teeth that require removal is ideal. It is much cheaper to perform a ROUTINE DENTISTRY than it is to address a mouth with progressive dental disease that includes severe tartar, gum recession, root exposure and even infected or fractured teeth that need to be extracted. It is also important to consider the systemic effects progressive dental disease has on your pets heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. Ultimately we all have a common goal of maintaining our pets comfort and quality of life and diseased teeth are not comfortable.

The veterinary technicians at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital will always be glad to help you grade the progression of dental disease in your pet and help you come up with a plan for maximizing their health. Feel free to call Ranee, Sara, Stacey, Melissa, Jen or Nora any time at 301-631-6900. We can even set up a no cost tech appointment to look at your pets teeth and make suggestions.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

When working in an animal hospital you tend to see certain breed trends, or breeds that are becoming more popular. A breed we are seeing more oftern here at Kingsbrook is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. As an owner of a CKCS myself, I can understand why so many people fall in love with the breed. Cavaliers are a playful, happy, devoted breed that usually do well with children, cats and dogs. They require moderate exercise and grooming. A good walk and daily brushing will usually suffice. CKCS are sporting dogs so do not always do well with small mammals or birds. They often will chase anything that moves so keeping on a leash if not fenced is imperative.

Anyone who has any knowledge of dogs knows that every breed comes with their list of medical concerns. Unfortunately CKCS has some serious and potentially costly health issues. The following are the issues we see most often:

Heart Disease: CKCS are 20 times more prone to Mitral Valve Disease than any other breed.
Cataracts and Cherry eye
Luxating (dislocating) Patellas
Syringomyelia: A progressive neurological disease of varying severity. A larger number of CKCS have this than any other breed.

Since any of these can be severe enough to require care from a veterinary specialist it is important to realize owning a CKCS can become quite costly. My owne Cavie has had trips to a veterinary neurologist and regularly sees a cardiologist. We have a client here at Kingsbrook that owns two young CKCS and has already started saving for potential costly health issues later in life. Smart move!!

The AKC recommends to check for ant hereditary diseases several generations back when considering purchasing a Cavalier. Even this does not guarantee a perfectly healthy dog.

Although my sweet 14 year old Cavie requires a spread sheet to keep track of al his medications, I know I will own another one day. Before Aquiring a new pup, I will be researching it's medical history and have a nest egg for major, unexpected medical concerns. Having owned a CKCS I know it is more likely than not that I will someday be spending money taking it to a veterinary specialist but also realize that they are worth every penny spent.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tails?

Tail wagging is a behavior closely associated with dogs, who seem to engage in it more than other animals. The exact reason why dogs wag their tails may not be entirely clear, but it does seem to be linked with a desire to communicate information to other members of the pack. Being inherently social animals, dogs wag their tails to provide social cues. In combination with other body language, owners can use it as an indicator of how a dog feels about a situation.

Some animal behaviorists theorize that dogs wag their tails to indicate submission. However, this is unlikely to be true, as a wide range of dogs wag their tails in different situations. Wolves, used for the basis of a great deal of behavior study, do not bear out the submission theory. For example, puppies approaching a mother to nurse will wag their tails, which suggests submission, but the mother wolf also wags hers, making this theory less plausible.

It appears that dogs wag their tails in social situations only, and do not do so alone. It may be that dogs wag their tails in response to stimuli which they experience. The position of the tail also appears to have some bearing on the meaning. Further study may reveal the deeper reasons between why dogs wag their tails, and it probably also differs from dog to dog.

A dog which keeps its tail high in the air while wagging it may be aggressive. Many large dogs wag their tails in this fashion to indicate that they are dominant. If a dog is holding its tail up and waving only the tip, you should approach with care, watching for other signs like the position of the ears or growling. If a dog has its tail between its legs, however, it indicates submission. Frightened or nervous dogs may wag their tails stiffly between their legs. Approach this type of dog cautiously as well, since dogs can bite or snap out of fright.

When a dog holds its tail straight out, rather than up or down, it is a sign of interest and curiosity. The majority of dogs wagging their tails in this position are friendly and interested in what is going on around them, and they do not pose a threat. Studies have also suggested that dogs who favor the right when wagging have a positive response to the stimulus they are experiencing, while dogs who bear left are having a negative response.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dry, scaly nose

Hi, My name is Morky and I belong to Nora, a technician at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital. Do you have a dry, scaly nose like me. Or is your nose thickened and cracked. This is a very common problem in many dogs as they age and in some specific breeds such as boxers and bull dogs. The manifestation of these signs can be a primary problem or can be secondary to some other underlying disease. Something that commonly happens when a nose exhibits these characteristics is that there can be a secondary yeast and/or bacterial infection. Some dogs will build up mucoid discharge in there nose, sometimes on just one side or maybe both, that can impede breathing effort and result in a congested sounding airpassage. This condition is commonly called hyperkeratosis and my case is farely mild but chronic. I am 11 years old and have had this condition since I was about 7. My mom tries to keep my nose moist and conditioned with a vitamin E roll on that she applies to my nose 2-3 times a week. Periodically when it looks worse she has the doctor check a cytology to see if bacteria or yeast are present and treat those things accordingly.

If you need help with your dry, scaly, thickened nose ask your friends at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital what your mom can do to make it better.
Happy Fall,

Monday, November 9, 2009

2nd Annual Candy Drive for our Troops

Our clients have come through again! We have collected 137 pounds of Halloween candy to send overseas to our troops. Thank you for supporting our brave men and women who are serving in the Armed Services.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Area Kennels

As the holidays approach, many people will be looking for someone to care for their pet(s) while they are out of town with their families. When looking for a kennel, go in to visit with the staff and look over the facility before hand to make sure you will be comfortable leaving your pet in their care. There are four kennels in the area that we recommend:

Amberlyn Kennels
10508 Daysville Road
Walkersville, MD 21793
(301) 898-3106

Greenbriar Pet Resort
3051 Thurston Road
Frederick, MD 21704
(301) 874-8880

Sunchaser Kennels
13416 Liberty Road
Libertytown, MD 21762
(301) 898-3198

Shady Springs Boarding Kennels
1001 Hoods Mill Road
Woodbine, MD 21787
(301) 924-4457

**Important note**
Pets must be up to date on their vaccines (including Bordetella) in order to be boarded. Make sure you plan in advance so that your holidays may be happy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Unique Joys of Adopting Mature Pets

Sure, puppies and kittens are cute but these babies require an extensive commitment of time and energy from their guardians. Busy schedules and commitments keep many owners from being able to provide the kind of care that young animals require. Mature dogs have likely gone through some basic obedience training and adult cats are more likely to be litter-box trained. Although older pets may be less demanding, that doesn’t mean that they don’t require pet parents to be responsible and devoted.

Forming a strong connection with a pet has little to do with the animal’s age, setting aside the notion that a puppy or kitten will bond better with it’s new family. A mature pet is also more likely to interact better with children as puppies can nip and kittens claw inadvertently.

It is important for animal lovers to remember that the adorable kitten or pint-size puppy will grow up and that adult animals can be every bit as sweet, cute and playful as their younger counterparts. It is also much easier to get a sense of a mature animal’s size, temperament and personality which can assist in making a more informed decision on adopting.

Adopting a homeless animal is an act of compassion, as many older pets have an increasingly hard time finding an adoptive family. More and more animal-lovers are finding out that mature pets can be taught new tricks – like learning how to love again.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Halloween Pet Tips

Here are some important things to keep in mind during the Halloween holiday:

Don't share Halloween candy with your pets. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats, and other candy could damage their teeth and overall health. Make sure when the kids come back from trick-or-treating, they put their stash out of paws' reach.

Keep your pets a safe distance from trick-or-treaters. Having a steady stream of strangers on their turf might make pets anxious and unpredictable.

As you open and close the door to dish out candy, keep an eye on your dog or cat - pets can easily slip away and end up lost.

If you put a costume on your pet, make sure that nothing about the costume could interfere with his breathing or ability to see. Also, make sure that no parts of the costume could tangle or choke him. And keep on eye on him the whole time - never leave an outfitted pet alone.

If you take your dog trick-or-treating with you, make sure that he is on a leash and has the proper ID tags on his collar. You don't want to have to go looking for him, but if he does get lost, tags with your name and phone number make it much more likely that you'll get him back.

If you have a black cat, or even a dark gray one, keep close tabs on him during the days and weeks leading up to Halloween. If possible, keep him indoors to prevent him from being the victim of any pranks.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

Look at all these great cookies that Brandy made us!
Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Mama at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital!

On Monday October 26th, Ann Strathern’s Golden Retreiver Coqui had a c-section at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital and delivered a 1lb sweet baby boy! Mom and baby are doing well. Congratulations Coqui and Ann!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bo's Guardian Angel

Bo is an adult mixed breed dog that was found running loose near Keyser, West Virginia after being struck by a car. A good samaritan captured him and brought him into Kingsbrook Animal Hospital for a medical evaluation. After administering sedation and pain medication, Dr Cook did a thorough exam and ordered radiographs (x-rays) of Bo's hips and lower extremities.

In the first radiograph above, the arrow indicates the area of trauma. The femoral head (the ball of the hip joint) had been fractured and displaced. The second radiograph was taken after surgery to remove the damaged femoral head (femoral head osteotomy). The muscles will support the joint until a "false" socket of callous forms. With lots of love and physical therapy, Bo will be on his feet again in no time. Special thanks to the guardian angel that saved his life.

2nd Annual Candy Drive for our Troops!

Between October 31st and November 7th, drop off your left-over halloween candy at our office and we will have it sent to our troops who are stationed overseas.

Last year, you donated over 100 lbs of candy! Let's see if we can beat that this year!

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

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Mommy, look, that cat has no hair!"

Sphynx, also known as Canadian Hairless, is a breed of cat characterized by having little to no hair on their bodies. Sphynx have a genetic mutation in the gene that causes hair growth, thus they have very little to no hair. Typically, a Sphynx has a light covering of down-like hair on their nose, the backs of their ears, and the tops of their feet. Because they are hairless on their bodies, the oil their skin produces accumulates and Sphynx need to be bathed with a mild cat shampoo weekly. Wax can also accumulate in their ears and they also need to be cleaned weekly with a cleaner from your vet.

Sphynx need to be kept warmer than other cats because they don't have a natural coat! They can wear small dog t-shirts and love to snuggle under a fleece blanket or in bed with their person.

Sphynx come in all the same colors housecats come in, like torti, calico, tabby, bicolor(spotted), tuxedo, and color points (seal point, blue point, etc).
They have the same life span as other domestic cats and require the same diets and veterinary care. They can get a genetic disease known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, or HCM, where the walls of their heart become thickened and the heart cannot pump effectively. Yearly check ups at your regular vet, as well as an ultrasound of the heart, known as an echocardiogram, should be done by the cardiologist. The onset of HCM is uaually 4-8 years of age.

Monday, October 19, 2009

2nd Annual SPAYgetti Dinner

The Promise Animal League will be holding it's 2nd Annual SPAYgetti dinner on Sunday, November 1 from 4-8pm. The cost of the tickets are $15.00 per adult and $7.00 for children 8 years and younger. Tickets can be purchased in bulk 5 for $60.00 or 10 for $100.00. The event includes and All You Can Eat Spaghetti Pasta Bar, Silent Auctions, Raffles, 50/50 Drawing, Door Prizes and Goody Bag for your pet. Proceeds benefit their low-cost spay/neuter clinic. The dinner will be held at Next Dimensions Restaurant, 132 Old National Pike, Hagerstown, MD. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by calling 304-274-0534.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Top Cat Breeds

There are about 100 million pet cats in the Western world. The most popular is a combination of different breeds - the domestic shorthaired cat. The Cat Fancier's Association (CFA) holds the largest registry of pedigree cats in the world. A pedigree is the product of two parents from the same breed.

Let's take a look at the top ten most popular cat breeds of 2006, according to the CFA.


Number one since the CFA first started keeping records in 1871! Although Persians are high-maintenance and need grooming every day, this is more than compensated for by their affectionate and loyal personality.


This enormous all-American cat has been in second place since 1992. Maine Coons are one of the biggest domestic breeds. Males average 12 to 18 pounds in weight and females are usually 10-14. They are hardy, gentle and loving with long fur but don't need as much grooming as a Persian.


These are also known as exotic shorthairs and are rounded and solid in appearance. This cat is like a Persian but with short fur. Some people call them 'a Persian in pyjamas'! They have the sweet personality of the Persian but only need combing twice a week.


These cats are very communicative, yowling in a rasping voice for attention or just to chat! They are slim and athletic with large ears. Their fur is short and lies close to their skin. They love to be stroked, and are extremely loyal and close to one person. They are very intelligent and loving.


It is said that these pretty cats are descended from those worshipped by the ancient Egyptians - but no one knows for sure. Their coat is ticked with colors. Abyssinians are very active, busy and playful, and they love people.


Ragdolls, or 'Raggies' are extremely cute cats. They are called Ragdolls because when you pick one up, it goes completely limp in your arms! They are another large breed with males growing anything up to 20 pounds and females 15. They have blue eyes and mid-length, silky fur. They are extraordinarily affectionate and will follow you everywhere.

They are so docile that it can be dangerous for them to go out as they wouldn't defend themselves if another animal attacked them.


This blue eyed cat also glories in the name of the Sacred Cat of Burma! They have characteristic white paws, making them look as if they are wearing little white boots. They have even temperaments, and are known for adjusting to your daily routine. A Birman will often be waiting for you when you get home from work (as do Siamese and Orientals). Although their fur is long and silky, they don't require much grooming.


These look like regular tabbies but true American Shorthairs are pure-bred. These cats originally arrived in America on the "Mayflower" with the pilgrims. They are good hunters, have a loving nature, general good health, a quiet temperament, and they are great with children. They come in a multitude of color combinations, the most popular being silver. More than a third of all American Shorthairs have this coloring of black 'stripes' on a beautiful silver background.


This breed looks and behaves just like a Siamese but is available in two different hair lengths and over 300 different color combinations. They also have very sweet natures, and have many of the characteristics of Siamese, though they don't quite talk as loudly. But they are very affectionate and loyal, very people-oriented.


This extraordinary naked cat has a rather bizarre appearance. Strangely, they are available in a multitude of colors, albeit skin colors rather than fur! They are lively and athletic, and enjoy climbing. They are loyal, loving and constantly demand attention.

Nutro Pet Food Recall

Nutro recently recalled several types of pet food after learning that a factory employee's plastic hat mysteriously made its way into the manufacturing line, was melted, and then combined with the food. Nutro is asking pet owners who think they may have tainted food to either return it to the store in which they bought it for a full refund or to call their "Consumer Care" team at 1-800-833-5330.

Product Name UPC Size Best by Date
NUTRO® ULTRA™ Puppy food for dogs 79105 51313 4.5 LB 09/10/10
NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® Chicken Meal, Rice and Oatmeal Formula Small Bites Puppy 79105 23050 5 LB 09/10/10


Product Name UPC Size Best by Date
NUTRO® ULTRA™ Puppy food for dogs 79105 51315 30 LB 09/10/10

Cat Food Recall

Diamond Pet Foods has just announced a voluntary recall of their Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat and Premium Edge Hairball Cat foods with the following date codes: RAF0501A22X 18lb, RAF0501A2X 6lb, RAH0501A22X 18lb, and RAH0501A2X 6lb. Early reports from pet owners and veterinary practices show geographic trending in the Rochester, New York area and according to Diamond, patients are presenting with neurologic signs. Although the food is not tainted, it is deficient in thiamine.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Behavior Resource

The Animal Behavioral Resources Institute is a non-profit organization where leading professionals in animal behavior and training can share their expertse & experiences. Their website features videos and articles relating to animal behavior, allowing us to enrich our relationships with the animals we love. Check it out at (

Sunday, October 11, 2009

National Veterinary Technician Week

October 11-17, 2009 is National Veterinary Technician Week.

Veterinary technicians are trained professional support staff who provide assistance to veterinarians and biomedical/laboratory researchers. Technicians provide patient monitoring, animal restraint, surgical and dental assistance, laboratory diagnostics, administration of medicines and treatments, anesthesiology among other vital animal care and veterinary clinical tasks.

Some technicians are trained on the job by the veterinarian(s) or other technicians on staff. Some technicians attend schools that offer two or four year degrees in the science of veterinary technology. Upon completion of a formal academic program and after passing state-administered certification tests, one can become registered as a veterinary technician or RVT.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the technicians at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital for their dedication and compassion to the animals in their care.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Convenient Antibiotic

Antibiotics are wonderful medications to help our loved ones feel better. Sometimes, though, they can be extremely difficult to give. Have your ever chased your cat around the house to give push a pill down it’s throat? Have you ever tried to hide an antibiotic in a piece of ham, cheese, etc. only to find out that Fido spit it out 5 minutes later?

Administering antibiotics can be very frustrating for clients and we are happy to announce that there is another option! Convenia is a injectable antibiotic that is professionally administered at the veterinary office and lasts for up to 14 days of treatment. Convenia is statistically proven to equal a veterinary label, multi day course of oral antibiotics. Convenia ensures that you pet gets the medication it needs without the hassle of daily administration.

The next time your loved one needs antibiotics ask your Veterinarian about the injectable option – CONVENIA!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Oh No! I have to pill my cat!

We all know that cats are difficult to pill. Here are some helpful ways to make it easier and take the anxiety out of medicating our feline friends.

1. Pill Pockets. These are great if your cat loves treats. It is a soft pocket that you place the pill in and conform around the pill to hide it. They come in chicken or salmon flavors.

2. FlavorX. Most pills can be compounded into a liquid and flavored to your cat's liking.
Flavors range from tuna, fish chowder and chicken pot pie.

3. Felovite and a syringe. We remove the tip off a 3-ml syringe and pull the plunger back. Squeeze a bit of Felovite into syringe then hide the pill in it. Open your cat's mouth and quickly push the plunger to administer the pill and Felovite.

Ask one of our trusty technicians which option would be best for you and your cat.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Have you pet-proofed your house?

Here are some ways to protect your pet

** Plants- There are lots of plants that we have in our households that can spell trouble for our pets should they get into them. Examples:lilies, azaleas or philodendron are all toxic to dogs and cats. Placing your potted plants out of reach and keeping an eye on your pets when they go into the yard are precautionary steps that can be taken. Furthermore, never use cocoa mulch- it contains caffeine and theobromine which are both potentially deadly to dogs. You can visit and click on "Pet Tips" or the ASPCA website ( to access a more extensive list on dangerous plants.

** Electrical Cords- Cats have been known to burn their mouths from chewing on electrical wires. They seem to be drawn to the cords because they can feel the electricity running through them- which may give them the same adrenaline rush as hunting prey. Safety measures that can be taken include unplugging your electronics when you aren't using them or decoying wires with tubing to prevent chewing.

** Chew Toys- Imported treats can sometimes be contaminated with salmonella or chemicals. Make sure the goodies are American-made and be aware of how the product(s) are handled and shipped.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month

Animal shelters are vibrant and exciting places to go; barking, bustling, and busy. You'll find wonderful animals, many choices for your new companion. Our shelter employees have a wealth of information and experience to offer you about offer you about selecting the right pet for your family. You'll also find a pet adoption process that's designed to find a good home for our pets and a good pet for your home.

Our shelter employees will ask a number of questions about you; your pet experience and what you expect from the pet; questions you may not have expected Some people feel that it's harder to adopt a pet than a child, but we want to insure our pets find good homes and our citizens find the right pet. So hang in there; adopting a pet is worth it.

If you are ready to make a commitment to the right pet, not only will you save a life, you'll enhance your own. People with pets live longer and recover from illness faster than people who have none. Kids with pets learn empathy earlier than other kids. Research suggests that kids with pets handle family tragedy, such as divorce, better, too and may have fewer problems with allergies.

The Frederick Animal Control Center (FCAC) cares for abandoned and relinquished animals through funding from Frederick County Government. Each year, several thousand animals come into the shelter. While a few hundred of these pets are eventually reunited with their owners, the remaining thousands need new homes. Because the FCAC accepts all unwanted, injured, stray and sick animals in the County, we are often unable to find homes for all the pets in need.

How to Adopt

Find the pet of your dreams, bring your family to the shelter to meet the pet and fill out an application to adopt.

Make an appointment with an adoption counselor the following day. In the meantime we check references you provide.

Our adoption counselors will give you information on integrating your new pet into your household. If we've found a good match, you will pay adoption fees and take your pet home. If your pet is not yet altered, our vets will perform the surgery here at the shelter BEFORE you take your pet home

Monday, September 28, 2009

Interesting Book

"Psychologist Alexandra Horowitz has a new book dog lovers will want to check out. The PhD in cognitive science calls her book "Inside Of A Dog: What Dogs See, Smell And Know". In it, she attempts to show what the world is like from a dog's point of view. A review may be found at"