<?php echo HOSPNAME; ?>Newsletter articles The veterinarians and staff at the York Animal Hospital are pleased to provide you with an online newsletter. This fun and fact-filled newsletter is updated on a regular basis.

Included in the newsletter are articles pertaining to pet care, information on our animal hospital, as well as news on the latest trends and discoveries in veterinary medicine.

Please enjoy the newsletter!

Current Newsletter Topics

April is Heartworm Awareness Month

Pets and their people love being outside in the summertime - and so do mosquitoes. Because mosquitoes are the most common carriers of heartworm disease, keeping pets up to date on preventive heartworm treatments during mosquito season is especially important.

Heartworm Disease Cycle

Heartworms are exactly that—large worms that live in the hearts of cats and dogs. Known as Dirofilaria Immitis, heartworms are long, spaghetti-like worms that range in size from 6 to 10 inches. Heartworms are almost always transmitted by mosquitoes. A mosquito bites an infected dog or cat; that mosquito picks up microfilariae, a microscopic version of the heartworm. When that mosquito bites your dog or cat, the heartworm microfilariae are transmitted to him / her. Within 70 to 90 days, the microfilariae make it to your pet's heart and, once mature, begin reproducing. The cycle then begins again.

Signs of heartworm disease in pets vary based on the age and species of the pet and the number of worms present. Because the worms are usually located on the right side of the heart and lung, coughing and shortness of breath are common signs in both dogs and cats. Dogs that have just acquired the disease may have no signs, while dogs with a moderate occurrence of the disease may cough and show an inability to exercise. In extreme cases, dogs may experience fainting, weight loss, fever, abdominal swelling and death. In cats, the symptoms of heartworm disease are similar to those of feline asthma, including coughing and shortness of breath. Some cats may exhibit no signs of the disease, while others may suddenly die.

When it comes to preventing heartworm disease, pet owners have a number of options. Before beginning preventive medication, pet owners should have their pets tested for the presence of heartworms. If heartworms are present, a treatment plan should be discussed with your veterinarian. Most heartworm prevention is done by administering your pet a once-a-month heartworm preventive medication. Many of these monthly products are administered as a chewable treat. Some are combined with other preventive medications. Your veterinarian will recommend the product that is best suited for your pet.

If you would like to have your pet tested for heartworm or you would like additional information about the disease, please contact your veterinary hospital.

How to Care for Your New Puppy or Kitten: Socialization

Congratulations on your new family member! If you are new to pet ownership or a seasoned veteran, it is important to stay up to date on proper care for your new puppy or kitten.

Proper socialization helps establish a loving and lasting relationship between you and your pet. Early in your pet's life, it is very important to deal with unfavorable habits and correct them in a productive and timely manner.

One of the best ways to train your pet is to introduce it at a young age to common social situations. Some of these may include trimming nails, bathing, brushing and medicating. By introducing these situations at a very young age, they are far more likely to be accepted by the pet later in life.

For puppies, obedience training is pretty much essential. Most trainers like to start the training process between four to six months of age, after vaccinations are complete. Many capable trainers are available to help you socialize and train your pet properly. Do your homework in order to take advantage of the training courses offered in your area. Similar to children, pets' habits, both good and bad, are learned at an early age!

Common Canine Poisonings: Part I


Ibuprofen, also known by the name brands Advil or Motrin, is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug commonly used as a pain reliever or fever reducer. The most common over-the-counter strength is 200mg, but prescription strength tablets can get as high as 800mg. Dogs are often exposed accidentally, either because they have chewed a bottle containing ibuprofen or their owner has given it to them intentionally for pain control.

The effects of ibuprofen poisoning are diverse. An overdose can cause damage to the GI tract, the kidneys and the central nervous system. Ingestion by dogs can lead to ulceration, vomiting, diarrhea and/or abdominal pain. Larger doses can result in an increased risk of a dog developing acute renal failure, depression, seizures and/or comas.



Acetaminophen, most commonly known as Tylenol, is an over-the-counter medication used to relieve pain and reduce fevers. Available in tablets, capsules or liquids, it can be rather easy for a dog to chew on a bottle or mistakenly be given some by its owner as a pain killer. As with ibuprofen, dogs should never be given acetaminophen as a pain reliever. Specifically, acetaminophen breaks down into small particles that bind to red blood cells and other tissue cells. This results in the destruction of these cells. In other words, just one pill can cause significant tissue damage in dogs (especially small dogs). Signs of ingestion develop quickly and can include salivation, vomiting, weakness, abdominal pain and fluid build up (edema) in the face or paws.

Cold medications (Pseudo-ephedrine)

Many cold medications contain pseudo-ephedrine, a drug structurally similar to amphetamine. Ingestion can lead to cardiovascular and central nervous system problems. The most common clinical signs include agitation, hyperactivity, panting, hyperthermia (increased body temperature), tachycardia, head bobbing and dilated pupils. A small amount can be life threatening, so timely treatment is important.

Thyroid hormones

Thyroid hormones can be toxic to dogs. Although natural (desiccated thyroid) and synthetic (levothyroxine or L-thyroxine) derivatives of thyroid hormones are used to treat hypothyroidism in both animals and people, an overdose can be toxic. As with any medication, dogs are susceptible to drug overdoses, much like humans. Hyperactivity and tachycardia are the most common signs of overdose. If you think you have overdosed your dog or your own medication bottle has been chewed, consult your veterinarian for the best course of action.


Chocolate contains a stimulant known as a methylxanthine or theobromine. The amount of methylxanthines depends on the type of chocolate. For example, milk chocolate contains lower amounts of methylxanthines than dark chocolate, while baker's chocolate has the highest and most toxic amount.

Clinical signs of chocolate poisoning vary. The dog's reaction depends on the type of chocolate, the amount ingested, the size of the dog, and the dog's sensitivity to methylxanthines. Signs of ingestion can include mild stimulation such as hyperactivity, agitation and restlessness, cardiovascular effects like tachycardia (increased heart rate), arrhythmias, hypertension or hypotension and central nervous system signs such as tremors and seizures. Vomiting and diarrhea may occur with any amount, due to chocolate's high fat and sugar content.

Virginia Police Department K9s Safer Thanks to CNN News Anchor

Krijger, a Belgian Malinois with the Norfolk, Virginia police department, served his last day as a police K9 on January 11. It was a Monday and Krijger had responded to a violent barricade situation at a home with his handler and other Norfolk officers.

Fifty-eight-year-old Keith Richardon refused to leave his home despite pleas from negotiators. Richardson’s wife, who told emergency responders that he had a gun, was being held hostage. After a seven-hour standoff, Richardson exited the home, but began firing at the police; Krijger was hit and later succumbed to his injury.

Had Krijger been wearing a bulletproof vest, he may have survived.

After Krijger’s death, an unlikely good Samaritan stepped up to the task of outfitting the department’s entire K9 force with the costly vests after becoming aware of the need on social media. Retired Navy SEAL and military dog handler Jimmy Hatch runs a Norfolk-based charity dedicated to helping military and police dogs. Hatch developed a friendship with CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper after being interview by him last year. When Hatch launched an online campaign to raise the funds needed for the vests – which cost roughly $2,200 each – Cooper took notice.

Although how much he donated wasn’t released, the journalist’s charitable gift was enough to cover the purchase of 18 vests for the Norfolk K9s, plus several more for other area units. The donation served as Cooper’s speaking fee for an upcoming lecture at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk.

The police department tweeted: “We are at a loss for words. Following the passing of K-9 Krijger earlier this week, CNN's Anderson Cooper has donated enough money to get a vest for every K9 at the Norfolk PD. Truly amazing.”

VIDEO - How To Brush Your Cat's Teeth

Regular brushing of a cat's teeth can help prevent oral disease that can spread bacteria to other parts of a cat's body. Watch this video to get an idea of how to start the practice of brushing your cat's teeth.

World Veterinary Day is April 30th

Sunday, April 30th is World Veterinary Day for 2016. Started by the World Veterinary Association, World Veterinary Day was started to honor veterinarians and spread awareness of the One Health Concept, which “recognizes that the health and wellbeing of animals, humans and the ecosystem are interconnected, and depend on effective and sustained collaboration between human and animal-focused disciplines.”

But what does your veterinarian actually do?

If you think veterinary medicine is about animals, you’re only partially right. Animals don’t call veterinarians. People call veterinarians. The vast range of people and places needing veterinary services include research laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, zoos, dairies, swine farms, public health departments, feed industry, livestock industry, and pet owners. Veterinary medicine is a great field because it encompasses so many different areas.

Most people don’t realize how closely human medicine is linked to veterinary medicine. Lifesaving medical advances, in areas from vaccine development to heart surgery, could not have been made without the use of research animals. People may also be unaware of the public services that involve veterinarians. Government agencies from the FDA to state health departments rely on veterinarians to track rabies, foodborne illnesses, and diseases transmitted from animals to people.

Of course, there are many benefits to working closely with animal. One of the pleasures of being a veterinarian is that people who own animals love their animals, whether the animals are horses, pigs, iguanas, or puppies. You are generally dealing with people with empathy who like what they are doing. They recognize that what is best for the animal is also usually best for them.

For more information about World Veterinary Day, check out the World Veterinary Association’s website.