Kingsbrook Animal Hospital's Blog: December 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