Kingsbrook Animal Hospital's Blog: 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year In Review - How Kingsbrook Animal Hospital Gave Back to the Frederick, MD Community

It has been a very exciting 2013 for the veterinarians and staff of Kingsbrook Animal Hospital. Through our programs and your generous support, we were able to raise money to help homeless animals through the Kylie and Cricket Memorial Fund. 

In May, a monetary donation was sent to the Oklahoma State University Animal Relief fund. This donation specifically went to help stranded, misplaced or injured animals in need after the devastating tornados. 

At the end of June, the entire Kingsbrook Animal Hospital staff participated in the Paws and Claws 5K run and walk.  We collected $1457.85 through our client and community sponsors.  The front of the hospital was overrun with our paper dog donation sheets.  The support we received was amazing!

We were able to use the money raised to benefit Frederick, MD shelters.  $1000 in food and Kong toys were donated to the Frederick County Animal Control Shelter. $400 in food was donated to the Animal Welfare League.

In July, we promoted our 1,200 Facebook Like Campaign.  In order to increase our Facebook presence, our veterinarians agreed to take a "pie in the face" and donate $250 to the Kylie and Cricket Memorial Fund.  We had to reach 1,200 Facebook Likes by August 1st and we did it!

In August we sponsored Coconut, a Frederick County Animal Control cat that was up for adoption.  She had a heart murmur and periodontal disease.  The Kylie and Cricket Memorial Fund sponsored her treatment.  We were able to fund Coconut's chest x-rays, complete bloodwork panel and her dental evaluation and cleaning.  Shortly thereafter, she was adopted by a loving family!

In the beginning of October, Dr. Cook rescued 5 puppies that were running loose in West Virginia.  Within two days, and the help of social media, all 5 puppies were adopted!  With the help of the Kylie and Cricket Memorial Fund, they were all examined, vaccinated and spayed/neutered.  All the puppies have gone to loving, forever homes.

At the end of October, we held our first Haunted Hospital.  The veterinarians and staff had a great time putting on a show for the Frederick community and our clients. Also, there were several vendors contributing to the success of the Haunted Hospital.  They included Smart Dog University, Blue Ridge Blood Bank, Country Rabbit, Fine Photography, Frederick County Animal Control, Frederick County Animal Welfare League, Petz-R-US, Gratzer Graphics, Sweet & Savory, Two Paws Up and the Scoop Squad.  The collective monies raised from the vendors, our wonderful clients, and the brave attendees will help KAH continue helping animals in need!  Thanks to YOU! 

In December, we had a very special visitor to the Kingsbrook Animal Hospital.  Santa Paws!  He stopped by on a snowy Saturday to visit with the good girls and boys, doggies and even a few kitties.  There were crafts for the kids and hot chocolate for all.  Santa Paws' pictures raised $700 for the Kylie and Cricket Memorial Fund.  Photographs were taken by Nicole from Fine Photography LLC.  To visit her website CLICK HERE.

Last but not least, Vicki Baker (Mamaw to Kylie and Cricket), donated a very large dog themed basket to raffle off for the Kylie and Cricket Memorial Fund. The basket contained dog books, a leash and collar, toys and treats.  Donations from the tickets sold totaled $260.  The lucky winner was Karen Antizzo!

Thank you to everyone who supported, donated, and helped us give back to the animals who have no loving homes of their own.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Kingsbrook Animal Hospital Gives Back to Local Frederick, Md Family

Everyone here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital loves helping animals. We come in everyday, ready to aid in any way we can, whether it be administering medications, providing good preventative care, or sometimes just giving a good belly rub or pat on the head. Recently, we developed the Kylie and Cricket Memorial Fund so that we could help homeless pets in our area.

This year as Christmas approached, the KAH team wanted to do more! When we think about the Christmas season, many of us have memories of Christmas Eve and waiting impatiently for Santa to arrive. While we are all so blessed, we realize that there are many families and children who are not as fortunate. These thoughts led us to adopt a local family who could use some extra help for the holidays.

And what fun we all had!

We filled up a whole car!
Melissa and Ranee at our wrapping party.
Melissa checking out some toys.
Tiffanie and Julie organizing.
Toys, toys, and more toys!

Many of us with adult families had a blast shopping for children's toys and games. KAH employees generously spent their own money to purchase board games, puzzles, crafts, dolls, footballs, crayons, markers, clothes, hats and gloves, sleeping bags and even items like shampoo, toothpaste, and laundry detergent. We also spent time together wrapping the gifts and thinking of how excited the children would be on Christmas morning. In fact, we may have had just as much fun preparing the gifts as the children will have opening them!

It's just one more way we can show that we are not just a veterinary hospital; we are a family. And we love the Frederick area.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Ready to meet the family :)

Imagine this sight on Christmas morning!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Frederick County Animal Control-Giving Second Chances

Being a veterinary technician is an easy way to acquire a four legged friend.  So many animals cross my path that need help, care and ultimately a forever home.  Over the years some that have crossed my path have in some way reached out and touched something in me that prompts me to take them in and make them part of my family.

Sophia Loren came to Kingsbrook Animal Hospital about 1 year ago as a stray that was wandering in a parking lot in Frederick, MD.  She was covered in matted hair as if she had never been groomed.  She had lesions on her side and leg where the matted hair had seemingly been ripped off and taken skin with them.  She also had 3 evenly spaced holes burned through the skin of her neck that one could only assume were caused by some type of electric collar that was placed too tight.

After sedating, clipping and cleaning Sophia’s wounds I offered to foster her for the Frederick County Animal Control until her lesions healed and she was a bit more presentable for adoption.  It didn’t take my daughter more than 2 days to fall in love with her and insist we add her to our family.  She immediately attached herself to me and for the first several weeks any time my other 2 dogs tried to get near me she threatened to eat them alive.  With a lot of positive reinforcement and assurance she has become a loving part of our family and enjoys playing with the dogs as well as our 2 new kittens.  

We are grateful for her everyday.

Written by Nora McKay-Clark RVT

Frederick County Animal Control offers second chances to almost 6,000 animals a year.  If you are looking for a forever friend, consider visiting the shelter and giving a loving animal a second chance.  Not only does the shelter take in dogs and cats, but any animal that needs help. They have a variety of rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and rodents.  You might even see a goat or pot-bellied pig.  For more information on FCAC, to adopt, or foster an animal, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Santa's elves build toys. They don't breed puppies.

   Every year pets are given as gifts during the holidays. However, the recipients of these gifts may not be fully prepared for the responsibility, costs, and dedication involved. Thousands of pets are given up to rescue organizations and shelters after the holiday excitement has passed.

To a new pet, the holidays can be stressful and chaotic. Pets, especially new ones, thrive on routine. The holidays tend to be busy and bustling. With parties and visitors, this is usually not an ideal time to add a new member to the family.

Christmas trees, bows, ornaments, tinsel, candy, poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly are all things that bring Christmas cheer!.... but are also hazards to our furry friends.

As most of you already know, animals can be expensive. Not just the adoption fees associated, but also the long term maintenance. There will be veterinary exams, preventative medications, training classes, food, and of course toys! It is a lot of responsibility to give to another.

While there are many breeds and species available, your choice may not fit the lifestyle or preferences of your gift recipient.  For example, our technician Ranee may be thrilled with a whippet or basenji, but may not be as excited to see a cat under her tree (since she is allergic!) Tiffanie, our assistant, would rather have a boxer then a bulldog. Julie, another technician, goes hiking nearly every week, therefore a Pomeranian might not be the best fit. 

Even though receiving a furry bundle on Christmas morning may seem like a great idea, many many many animals are relinquished to shelters every year. That is why Santa's elves build toys and don't breed puppies. Puppies require time, patience, and training. It's an investment of a lifetime.

   As always, if you have any questions or need any guidance, please contact Kingsbrook Animal Hospital, right here in Frederick, MD at 301-631-6900.  Happy Holidays!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holiday Gift Giving Ideas at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital

Looking for that holiday gift for your pet or a pet lover?  Come visit your local Frederick, MD veterinarian for your gift giving needs.  We have Kingsbrook Animal Hospital travel mugs, odor eliminating candles, and gift cards for veterinary care for your favorite pet lover.  For your favorite dog or cat, we have Greenies, Furminators, Frontline and CET dental care products and chews. 

You may also make a donation to the Kylie and Cricket Memorial Fund in the name of a beloved friend, family member or pet past or present.

May you and your furry family have a wonderful holiday season.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dog Friendly Frederick, Maryland

Frederick, Maryland is a great place to be a dog owner!

Downtown Frederick is becoming a hot spot for dog lovers to visit. There are over 50 shops that welcome dogs including home furnishing, book and clothing stores. There are even antique, art and jewelry  shops that allow well behaved, leashed dogs! Downtown also has several restaurants where you can enjoy a meal or a cocktail with your dog!  Café Nola, Ben and Jerry’s and La Paz are all restaurants that allow dogs on their patios.  Other restaurants, such as Griff’s and Cacique, allow dogs to be tied to outside of their patios. Be aware though-if an unfriendly dog comes across your tied up dog, there is a fence between you and your dog. Look for the “My dog’s digging Downtown Frederick” stickers in the windows for dog friendly restaurants and shops. Recently technicians from Kingsbrook Animal Hospital had an outing downtown with their dogs. Julie, Ann C. and Tiffanie, along with their dogs Stuart, Quincy and Ethel all enjoyed dinner at La Paz: Dog treats and bowls of water complimentary! 
Dog Days of Summer, sponsored by Downtown Frederick Partnership, is always a big hit for dog lovers. Besides the regular dog friendly restaurants and stores there is a costume contest, parade, music and “yappy” hour.
Several of the local animal welfare groups have fund raisers which can be attended with your dog. Walk in Wag, Bark in the Park, Paws and Claws and Howl O Wine are all fundraisers in or near Frederick that Kingsbrook Animal Hospital had a booth. Several of our technician’s dogs joined in on the fun at these functions.

Another great activity to do in Frederick and surrounding areas is hiking! Catoctin Municipal Park, Greenbrier Park, Gambrill Park and Cunningham Falls have areas which allow hiking with dogs. South Mountain Battlefield,  Monocacy National Battlefield and Catoctin Nature Center also have dog friendly areas. Ann C’s favorite place to hike with Quin is the trails in the water shed area of Gambrill Mountain and the Appalachian trail . Before hiking make sure your dog is protected against ticks! In some remote areas a bear bell on your dog collar will help deter any surprises hidden in brush or around bends in trails.
There are also several dog parks in the area to let your dog romp. Green Briar in Urbana, Downtown Frederick and Ballenger Creek all have fenced dog Parks. Caution should always be used when visiting dog parks-Kingsbrook Animal Hospital recommends picking a slow time of day when the park isn’t too congested. The more dogs, the more chance of a scuffle-Remember, dogs are pack animals! Always use  common sense when visiting dog parks and watch all the dog’s body language.
Make sure you visit Kingsbrook to update your dog for kennel cough and Canine influenza if needed. It is also important to have your dog on a HW preventative such as Sentinel that will also prevent intestinal parasites!

Written by Ann Carlson


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Dog, My Therapist

    After losing my two beloved Basenjis Kylie and Cricket in a house fire in April of 2012.  I was devastated.  My world revolved around my dogs.  Since my husband and I do not have children, Kylie and Cricket were our "fur-kids."  They had play dates, birthday parties, visits to Mamaw and Pappy's house and lots of presents at Christmas.  Being without a home was inconvenient, being without my girls was unimaginable.

      Trying to be proactive, I sought help for the depression I knew would come after the shock wore off.  I contacted the local Hospice office and enrolled in one-on-one therapy with a loss professional.  After 3 weeks, she released me stating that I was dealing with all my emotions as expected.  A month later, I was still crying on a daily basis and having trouble concentrating.  I called my doctor and she recommended a private therapist that could help me cope.  I contacted her and scheduled an appointment for the following week.

     By this time, my husband and I had been relocated to an apartment while our house was being rebuilt.  I wanted to get another dog.  Not as a replacement, there will NEVER be another Kylie or Cricket, but as a companion.  My husband and I work some opposite shifts and it would be nice to not be home alone. I wanted to wait until the house was done before getting another dog.  I didn't feel it was fair to raise a dog in an apartment.  Their only exercise on a leash.  A dog should be able to run and jump and play.  My dog plans had to be put on hold. I continued to see the therapist and continued to cry and feel sorry for myself.  Something had to give.

     My coworker texted me a picture of two puppies that needed a home.  The puppies were Whippet boys and were adorable, but I really wanted another Basenji.  A few weeks go by and one of the puppies was adopted but the other one was still available.  Julie brought the puppy in to work to visit.  It was love at first sight.  The date the house was to be done kept being pushed back and I was still miserable.  I talked to my husband and told him about the puppy.  I still wanted a Basenji, but if Terry wanted the Whippet puppy, we would give him a home.

     In September we made arrangements for my husband to go meet the puppy.  On the way there, he stated that we were going to pick up Rocket.  "Who's Rocket?" I asked.  Our new puppy, Terry said.  He had welcomed him into our family sight unseen and even named him.  Rocket adjusted well to apartment living and learned to ring bells on the door when he needed to go out to potty.  Once Rocket came home with us, I quit going to see the therapist.  I didn't need counseling.  I needed a dog.    

     Dogs are wonderful creatures.  The are so loving and loyal.  They don't ask for much.  All they want out of life is a safe home, a warm bed, nutritious food and a loving pat.  In return they offer unconditional love. I think that is a pretty good deal.

written by Ranee Baker RVT

     Kingsbrook Animal Hospital has set up a fund in Memory of Kylie and Cricket.  The monies collected are used to help local Frederick, MD animals who have no loving, forever homes of their own.  For more information on the fund or to donate go to:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Concerns About Jerky Pet Treats in Frederick, MD

As you may have heard in the news, there is great concern about potential problems with JERKY TREATS causing serious, even potentially fatal problems in dogs.  Despite exhaustive studies, including trips to China to investigate production facilities and continual testing of jerky products, the FDA has been unable to find a link between the treats and the illnesses.  Is this all just internet/media hype or is there an underlying problem? We really do not know at this time.  The following article examines the issue in more depth.
Until we know more, it is probably best to avoid Jerky Treats for your dogs.

Call us if you have questions,Your Friends at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital

Seven years ago, Jordan Smith offered her two dogs a Christmas treat: pieces of chicken jerky. Within hours, Eugene, a 14-year-old wire-haired pointing griffon, and Choppy White, a poodle of uncertain age, had diarrhea and were vomiting. A week later, Choppy White died of liver failure.
Eugene hung on for a few more weeks but died in January 2007. The two dogs were among the first cases of pets apparently poisoned by chicken jerky dog treats.
“They immediately both got very ill, seriously ill,” said Ms. Smith, 41, a reporter at The Austin Chronicle in Austin, Tex. “I narrowed it down to this jerky because it was the only thing they had in common and it was within hours after they ate it.”
Ms. Smith eventually settled with the manufacturer of the pet treats under an agreement prohibiting her from revealing the company’s name. But she said she recently saw the product she believes poisoned her dogs still on sale.
Eugene and Choppy White are far from the only pets to suffer problems after eating jerky treats. The Food and Drug Administration has been investigating cases of suspected poisonings since 2007, with scant success. The agency updated the numbers last month: there have been more than 3,600 reports of illnesses associated with the treats and more than 580 deaths, almost all among dogs.
Dr. Richard E. Goldstein, the chief medical officer at the Animal Medical Center in New York, first noticed the problem in late 2006 or early 2007. “We’re still seeing patients now, and a lot of vets don’t know about it.”
The cause of the poisonings, if that is what they are, remains a mystery. About 60 percent of the cases nationwide involve
gastrointestinal illness; 30 percent, kidney ailments; and the rest, convulsions, tremors and skin irritations. Often the animals suffer from Fanconi syndrome, a kidney disease that is otherwise very rare in dogs. The breed or size does not appear to matter — Dalmatians and dachshunds, pugs and German shepherds, mutts and purebreds have all been affected.
Chicken is the most common ingredient in the products, but some also contain duck, sweet potatoes, yams and dried fruits. Many are manufactured in China, and in April 2012 F.D.A. officials inspected several factories there, gathering information on manufacturing processes, equipment, sanitation and product testing. They found nothing in any of the factories that would explain the poisonings.
They did find that one factory had falsified papers about glycerin, a common ingredient in the foods and not considered harmful in small quantities. Chinese authorities seized the firm’s products and suspended exports to the United States.
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has been investigating, as well. Officials found low levels of antibiotic residues in some of these products and in January asked for a voluntary recall of several brands, including Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch chicken jerky treats, both distributed by Nestlé.
Nestlé removed the products from stores in New York, but issued a statement asserting that the antibiotic residue does not pose a safety risk. A sharp decline in the number of complaints followed, but the F.D.A. agreed with Nestlé that antibiotics do not explain the problem and said that the reduced number of complaints probably reflected the smaller number of products available after the recall.
Still, the agency is continuing to test for possible contaminants. F.D.A. technicians ran 240 tests on samples collected from 2007 to 2011, and since then have collected about 250 samples connected to consumer complaints, plus 200 more bought at retail stores. The agency has performed more than 1,000 tests on these new samples.
Testing these products is not easy, according to Dr. Martine Hartogensis, deputy director of surveillance and compliance at the agency. “They’re very hard and dry, not soluble, more challenging than a raw or fresh product,” she said. “It’s harder to establish methods for testing them.”
Nevertheless, F.D.A. technicians have searched for a variety of germs, toxins, drugs and other contaminants. They have screened samples for Salmonella, mold, yeast and fungus. They have tested for additives and preservatives like nitrites and sulfites, and for 19 food dyes. They have run screens for lead, zinc, titanium and almost two dozen other metals. They have used a gas chromatography mass spectrometer to search for toxic chemicals.
They found Penicillium species in one sample, and some other antibiotics in some samples, none in quantities large enough to cause disease or death. They found glycerin in some products that were mislabeled as containing none.
But after all this, the F.D.A. has found nothing that could explain the apparent poisonings.
“We have a staff in our office of research working on jerky pet treats exclusively,” Dr. Hartogensis said. “And through our veterinary lab network, we have numerous labs throughout the country working on it.
On Oct. 22, the agency appealed to veterinarians, asking them to report illnesses associated with jerky treats and to collect urine and blood samples. The F.D.A. has since received more than 1,000 reports, including many from veterinarians.
“We’ve put out a lot of consumer alerts,” said Dr. Hartogensis, “but this is the first time we’ve talked to vets, our eyes and ears out there. We’re trying to get samples from active cases where the animal is currently sick.
“We really need more tissue, urine and blood samples,” she said. “That’s where toxins are concentrated.”

This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: November 5, 2013
An earlier version of this post misstated the circumstances under which Jordan Smith, whose two dogs were among the first cases of pets apparently poisoned by chicken jerky dog treats, reached an agreement with the manufacturer of the pet treats. She alerted the company to her dogs' health issues and the company compensated her for her loss. She did not sue the company. In addition, after the recall she said she saw the product she believes poisoned her dogs still on sale under the same -- not several different -- brand name.
A version of this article appears in print on 11/05/2013, on page D6 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Concerns About Jerky Pet Treats .

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Blood Donation-Saving Lives in Frederick, MD and Beyond

My dog Sullivan is a hero. 

He cuddles with me when I am sad. He motivates me to stay active by hiking every week. He is a jokester and provides hours of amusement. He loves my nephews and won’t leave their side when they visit. He runs, jumps, fetches, and has a party every time I return home. 

When he was a puppy, just 2 hours old, I saved his life.  I rescued him and watched him grow into a goofy, kindhearted dog that loves unconditionally. To me, he is the best dog in the world!  But that’s not why he is a hero.  Though my dog makes me happy and is my life-saver, he also literally saves lives. 

He is a blood donor.

It may not seem like a big deal, but dogs all over the United States have benefited directly from his donation.  Each time Sullivan donates his blood, up to four dog’s get another chance at life. These dogs may be anemic, have an illness, or have suddenly suffered a traumatic injury like being hit by a car. Without dogs like Sullivan, they would not survive. 

Sullivan donates his blood every 6 weeks when Kingsbrook Animal Hospital hosts the Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank. They are one of the largest of only three canine donor companies in the country. The great part about BRVBB is that they only use volunteer blood donors. So that means by Sullivan volunteering to donate his blood, he is saving yet another animal from a life in a cage with poor quality of life. 

On ‘blood donor day’ (as it is referred in my house), Sullivan gets super excited! He prances at the door when he sees that I have his leash. When arriving at the hospital, he makes his rounds saying ‘hello’ to all the veterinary technicians. When it is his turn to donate, he literally runs into the room.  They give him lots of yummy treats and pets. Sullivan happens to LOVE having his face rubbed and the staff and veterinarian at BRVBB are happy to oblige. Check out KAH’s YouTube channel to watch a video of Sullivan donating his blood! It’s a lot easier than you might think! If you think your dog is a lifesaver, check out  Or call KAH- ask for Julie. I’d be happy to talk to anyone about my dog, the hero, and help you decide if canine blood donation is right for you and your dog.

I may have saved Sullivan’s life, but in return he has saved so many more.

Written by Julie Fulghum

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Horrors in Frederick, MD: Chocolate and Candy Toxicity

Halloween is just around the corner and with it comes loads of candy and chocolate.  At Kingsbrook Animal Hospital, we want you to know the risks associated if your pet ingests candy or chocolate.  While Halloween is a fun, sweet treat holiday, the chance of candy or chocolate ingestion increases due to the amount of it in households.  People buy bundles of it to pass out to trick-or-treaters and our children bring tons of it home after visiting house to house.

Some candies have an ingredient in it called Xylitol, which is a sweetener.  Xylitol is toxic to our pets if they ingest it and can land a pet in the hospital.  You see, Xylitol is not metabolized the same way in our pets as it is in us.  If a pet eats candy that has been sweetened with Xylitol, contact your veterinarian right away.  Xylitol ingestion causes blood glucose levels to drop drastically and can affect liver function too, making a pet very sick and not able to recover on their own.

Chocolate is another devilishly good Halloween treat and is made from cocoa. Cocoa beans contain caffeine and a chemical called theobromine.  The chemical theobromine is toxic to pets.  If ingested in small amounts, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea; in larger quantities it can cause tremors, hyperactivity, high blood pressure, seizures, and even death.

We all love sweet treats, and so do our pets.  Make sure Halloween treats are kept out of reach of your pet to prevent accidental ingestion.  If you suspect your pet has eaten any candy or chocolate, contact your veterinarian or animal poison control center right away.  Have a Happy Halloween and safe Trick-or-Treating!!