Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

The doctors and staff of All Creatures Veterinary Care Center are pleased to announce their hospital blog. This fun and fact-filled blog is updated regularly and includes up-to-date information about your pet’s health care. Also included in the blog are fun, pet-related news stories that we want to share with you and photos and information about our hospital and staff members.

We invite you to check our blog often.

Thank you for visiting.

– The Veterinary Team at All Creatures Veterinary Care Center

Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma In Cats

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common oral tumor in cats. The risk of developing oral squamous cell carcinoma increases more than 3.5-fold with the use of flea collars and high intake of either canned food in general or canned tuna fish specifically. Exposure to household tobacco smoke increases the risk of oral squamous cell carcinoma 2-fold in cats. Squamous cell carcinoma frequently invades bone, and the degree of invasion is usually severe and extensive.Paraneoplastic hypercalcemia has been previously reported in cats with oral squamous cell carcinoma. The metastatic rate in the cat is unknown. However, oral squamous cell carcinomas in cats have a very poor long-term prognosis as animals most often succumb to local disease.

Grape/Raisin Toxicity In Dogs

Monday, June 13th, 2016

Grapes /Raisins are toxic to dogs!!

Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe

Common signs to watch for:

Abnormal drinking or urination

Grapes, raisins, and even currants (some currants are actually small, black grapes) are toxic to your dog! In fact, there have been anecdotal reports of cats and ferrets being affected by these also. Ingestion of even a small amount of grapes, raisins, or currants can result in severe, acute kidney failure. All types of grape- or raisin-containing products (including grape juice, trail mix, bagels, etc.) can result in this. Even organic, pesticide-free, grapes grown in home gardens can result in toxicity. Although the mechanism of action is not clearly understood on how grapes, raisins and currants are poisonous at this time, this common fruit can result in anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially severe acute renal failure (which develops several days later). The toxicity is not necessarily dose-dependent, and symptoms can occur with even small ingestions. Decontamination (e.g., inducing vomiting, decontaminating with activated charcoal, etc.), aggressive supportive care, aggressive IV fluid therapy, and kidney function (e.g., BUN/creatinine) monitoring is recommended.

If you suspect your pet ingested grapes, raisins, or currants, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline for treatment recommendations.


Summer Plants and Substances Poisonous To Dogs & Cats

Monday, June 6th, 2016

Many would say that summer is the best time of year. It’s when we spend the most time in the great outdoors with our families, friends and pets.
Unbeknownst to many pet owners, summer also brings with it certain flowers, substances and plants that are dangerous to dogs and cats.
“Most pets use their sense of smell and taste to investigate things that are new to them,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “When they come across
interesting plants or other items, their first reaction is to smell it, which often leads to tasting it. Pet owners who are aware of poisonous plants and substances can avoid potential dangers that
can result in emergency trips to the veterinarian.”

Some of the most dangerous summertime plants for pet owners to be aware of are listed below.





Sago Palm

Very popular in warmer climates, this household and outdoor plant can be extremely harmful to pets. All parts of the plant, including the fronds/leaves, nuts and seeds are especially poisonous
to dogs. Ingesting just a small amount can cause severe vomiting, bloody stools, damage to the stomach lining, severe liver failure and, in some cases, death. This plant is considered one of the most deadly in dogs and long-term survival is poor when ingested. Without treatment, sago palm poisoning can result in severe, irreversible liver failure. Prompt treatment is always needed for the best prognosis.





Lily of the Valley
When ingested by pets, the Convallaria majalis plant, also known as Lily of the Valley, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, a drop in heart rate, severe cardiac arrhythmias, and possibly seizures.
This plant contains cardiac glycosides, which are also used in many human heart medications. Any pet with a known exposure should be examined and evaluated by a veterinarian and treated symptomatically. Treatment may include blood pressure monitoring, heart monitoring, and, in severe cases, an expensive antidote to bind the toxin (e.g. Digibind).







Cat owners should be aware of lilies and the dangers they pose. While Peace, Peruvian and Calla lilies cause only minor symptoms when eaten, other more deadly types like the Lilium and Hemerocallis species (Tiger, Asiatic, Easter, Japanese Show and Day lilies), are highly toxic to cats. Ingesting very small amounts of the plant from grooming the pollen off the fur, or eating as little as two petals or leaves, can result in severe kidney failure. If a cat consumes any part of these lilies, or even drinks the water in the vase, he or she needs immediate veterinary care to prevent kidney failure. Decontamination, such as inducing vomiting and giving binders like activated charcoal, are imperative in the early toxic stages. This is followed by one to two days of intravenous fluid therapy, kidney function monitoring tests and supportive care.





There are two types of Crocus plants: one that blooms in the spring and the other in the autumn.The spring plants are more common and cause only gastrointestinal upset accompanied by
vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and cats. However, the autumn Crocus, also known as Meadow Saffron or Colchicum Autumnale, are highly toxic and can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, and multisystem organ failure with bone marrow suppression. Symptoms may be seen immediately but can also be delayed for days. If you witness your pet eating a crocus and you are not sure what variety it is, it’s best to seek veterinary care immediately for decontamination and treatment.


Fertilizers or soil additives

In addition to flowers and plants, there are other gardening-related dangers that pet owners should be aware of, such as fertilizers and pesticides. While fertilizers are typically fairly safe for pets, those that contain blood meal, bone meal, feather meal and iron may be especially tasty – and dangerous – to them Large ingestions of these products can form a concretion in the
stomach, obstructing the gastrointestinal tract and causing severe pancreatitis. Also ingestion of pesticides and insecticides, especially if they contain any organophosphates (e.g., disulfoton found in common rose-care products), can be life-threatening, even when ingested in small amounts.


Enjoy the beautiful gardens and flowers this summer, knowing that you have the knowledge to keep your pets safe. If, however, you think a pet may have ingested something harmful, take action immediately. Contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680. Pet Poison Helpline is the most cost-effective animal poison control center in North America charging only $35 per call, including unlimited follow-up consultations. Pre-program your cell phone with these life-saving numbers in case of emergency

Canine Flu Virus

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Can-dog-catch-fluCanine influenza (CI, or dog flu) in the U.S. is caused by the canine influenza virus (CIV), an influenza A virus. It is highly contagious and easily spread from infected dogs to other dogs through direct contact, nasal secretions (through barking, coughing or sneezing), contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes), and by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs. Dogs of any breed, age, sex or health status are at risk of infection when exposed to the virus. In early 2016, a group of cats in an Indiana shelter were infected with H3N2 canine influenza (passed to them by infected dogs), and the findings suggested that cat-to-cat transmission was possible.
Unlike seasonal flu in people, canine influenza can occur year round. So far, there is no evidence that canine influenza infects people. However, it does appear that at least some strains of the disease can infect cats.

Canine influenza symptoms and diagnosis
CIV infection resembles canine infectious tracheobronchitis (“kennel cough”). The illness may be mild or severe, and infected dogs develop a persistent cough and may develop a thick nasal discharge and fever (often 104-105oF). Other signs can include lethargy, eye discharge, and reduced appetite. Some dogs may not show signs of illness, but can shed the virus and infect other dogs.
Most dogs recover within 2-3 weeks. However, secondary bacterial infections can develop, and may cause more severe illness and pneumonia. Anyone with concerns about their pet’s health, or whose pet is showing signs of canine influenza, should contact their veterinarian.
CIV can be diagnosed early in the illness (less than 3 days) by testing a nasal or throat swab. The most accurate test for CIV infection is a blood test that requires a sample taken during the first week of illness, followed by a second sample 10-14 days later.
Cats infected with H3N2 canine influenza show symptoms of upper respiratory illness, including a runny nose, congestion, malaise, lip smacking, and excessive salivation.
Transmission and prevention of canine influenza
Dogs are most contagious during the two- to four-day incubation period for the virus, when they are infected and shedding the virus in their nasal secretions but are not showing signs of illness. Almost all dogs exposed to CIV will become infected, and the majority (80%) of infected dogs develop flu-like illness. The mortality (death) rate is low (less than 10%).
The spread of CIV can be reduced by isolating ill dogs as well as those who are known to have been exposed to an infected dog and those showing signs of respiratory illness. Dogs infected with H3N2 canine influenza should be isolated for at least 21 days. Good hygiene and sanitation, including hand washing and thorough cleaning of shared items and kennels, also reduce the spread of CIV. Influenza viruses do not usually survive in the environment beyond 48 hours and are inactivated or killed by commonly used disinfectants.

There are vaccines against the H3N8 strain of canine influenza, which was first discovered in 2004 and until 2015 was the only strain of canine influenza found in the United States. However, a 2015 outbreak of canine influenza in Chicago was traced to the H3N2 strain – the first reporting of this strain outside of Asia – and it is not known whether the H3N8 vaccine provides any protection against this strain. Used against H3N8, the vaccines may not completely prevent infection, but appear to reduce the severity and duration of the illness, as well as the length of time when an infected dog may shed the virus in its respiratory secretions and the amount of virus shed – making them less contagious to other dogs.
In November 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture granted a conditional license to Zoetis to market the first commercially available H3N2 canine influenza vaccine. Later that month, Merck Animal Health announced the availability of an H3N2 canine influenza vaccine, also conditionally licensed by USDA. None of the currently available H3N2 canine influenza vaccines are approved for use in cats.
The CIV vaccination is a “lifestyle” vaccination, recommended for dogs at risk of exposure due to their increased exposure to other dogs – such as boarding, attending social events with dogs present, and visiting dog parks.
Please call the office if you feel your dog would benefit from this vaccine.
*American Veterinary Medical Association


Monday, May 16th, 2016

dog-days-of-summer1The summer months can be uncomfortable—even dangerous—for pets and people. It’s difficult enough simply to cope with rising temperatures, let alone thick humidity, but things really get tough in areas that are hit with the double blow of intense heat and storm-caused power outages, sometimes with tragic results.

We can help you keep your pets safe and cool this summer. Follow our tips for helping everyone in your family stay healthy and comfortable when the heat is on (and even if the power isn’t).

Never leave your pets in a parked car

Not even for a minute. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die. Learn how to help a pet left inside a hot car »

Print this hot car flyer and spread the life-saving word: http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/pets/hot_car_flyer.pdf

Watch the humidity

It’s important to remember that it’s not just the ambient temperature but also the humidity that can affect your pet. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly.
Taking a dog’s temperature will quickly tell you if there is a serious problem. Dogs’ temperatures should not be allowed to get over 104 degrees. If your dog’s temperature does, follow the instructions for treating heat stroke.

Limit exercise on hot days

Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating.

Don’t rely on a fan

Pets respond differently to heat than humans do. (Dogs, for instance, sweat primarily through their feet.) And fans don’t cool off pets as effectively as they do people.

Provide ample shade and water

Any time your pet is outside, make sure he or she has protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water when possible. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don’t obstruct air flow. A doghouse does not provide relief from heat—in fact, it makes it worse.

Cool your pet inside and out

Whip up a batch of quick and easy DIY peanut butter popsicles for dogs. (You can use peanut butter or another favorite food.) And always provide water, whether your pets are inside or out with you.
Keep your pet from overheating indoors or out with a cooling body wrap, vest, or mat (such as the Keep Cool Mat). Soak these products in cool water, and they’ll stay cool (but usually dry) for up to three days. If your dog doesn’t find baths stressful, see if she enjoys a cooling soak.

Watch for signs of heatstroke

Extreme temperatures can cause heatstroke. Some signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.
Animals are at particular risk for heat stroke if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, or have heart or respiratory disease. Some breeds of dogs—like boxers, pugs, shih tzus, and other dogs and cats with short muzzles—will have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat.
How to treat a pet suffering from heatstroke:
Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to her head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over her. Let her drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Take her directly to a veterinarian.

Prepare for power outages

Before a summer storm takes out the power in your home, create a disaster plan to keep your pets safe from heat stroke and other temperature-related trouble

**Humane Society of the United States

Winter Pet Hazards

Monday, November 28th, 2011












The holiday season is here and All Creatures Veterinary Care Center wants to see all our furry friends stay happy, healthy and safe with the following tips for the winter:

Holiday Food Items to Avoid

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Chocolate (baker’s, semi-sweet, milk chocolate)
  • Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans)
  • Moldy or spoiled foods
  • Onions, onion powder
  • Fatty foods
  • Salt
  • Yeast dough

Christmas Tree Hazards

  • Christmas tree water may contain fertilizers, which, if ingested, can cause stomach upset. Stagnant tree water can be breeding grounds for bacteria, which can also lead to vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea, if ingested.
  • Electric cords- Avoid animal exposure to electric cords. If they were chewed, they could electrocute your pet. Cover up or hide electric cords, never let your pet chew on them.
  • Ribbons or tinsel can get caught up in the intestines and cause intestinal obstruction.
  • Batteries contain corrosives. If ingested they can cause ulceration to the mouth, tongue, and the rest of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Glass ornaments can cut the tissues of the gastrointestinal tract if ingested.
  • Potpourris are popular household fragrances commonly used during the holiday season. Pets are often exposed to liquid potpourri by direct ingestion from simmer pots or spills, or by rubbing against leaky bottles or simmer pots containing the potpourri, or from spilling the containers upon themselves. Oral exposures result following grooming. Exposure of pets to some types of liquid potpourris can result in severe oral, dermal, and ocular damage. Dry potpourri generally doesn’t cause those issues, but there may be problems due to foreign body and (possibly) toxic plant ingestion.


  • Lilies that may be found in holiday flower arrangements could be deadly to your cat. Many types of lily, such as Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Easter, Stargazer, and the Casa Blanca, can cause kidney failure in cats.
  • Poinsettias are generally over-rated in toxicity. If ingested, poinsettias can be irritating to the mouth and stomach, and may cause mild vomiting or nausea.
  • Mistletoe has the potential to cause cardiovascular problems. However, mistletoe ingestion usually only causes gastrointestinal upset.
  • Holly ingestion could cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and lethargy.

Winter Household Hazards

  • Antifreeze has a pleasant taste. Unfortunately, very small amounts can be lethal. As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze can be deadly to a cat; less than four teaspoons can be dangerous to a 10-pound dog. Thoroughly clean up any spills, store antifreeze in tightly closed containers and store in secured cabinets. Automotive products such as gasoline, oil and antifreeze should be stored in areas that are inaccessible to your pets. Propylene glycol is a safer form of antifreeze. Low Tox™ brand antifreeze contains propylene glycol and is recommended to use in pet households.
  • If you think your pet has consumed antifreeze, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-4-ANI-HELP) right away!
  • Liquid potpourris are popular household fragrances commonly used during the holiday season. Pets are often exposed to liquid potpourri by direct ingestion from simmer pots or spills, or by rubbing against leaky bottles or simmer pots containing the potpourri, or from spilling the containers upon themselves. Oral exposures result following grooming. Exposure of pets to some types of liquid potpourris can result in severe oral, dermal and ocular damage.
  • Ice melting products can be irritating to skin and mouth. Depending on the actual ingredient of the ice melt and the quantity, signs of ingestion would include excessive drooling, depression, vomiting or even electrolyte imbalances.
  • Rat and mouse killers are used more commonly during colder weather. When using rat and mouse bait, place the products in areas that are inaccessible to your companion animals.

Better Safe than Sorry

If you suspect that your pet has ingested something poisonous, seek medical attention immediately by contacting the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-4ANI-HELP) and by calling your veterinarian.

Referenced from VeterinaryPartner.com

Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Many of us have heard that chocolate is a no-no for our dogs and can be toxic. If you’re wondering what that means for our furry friends when they indulge while we’re not watching and when to be alarmed, then here’s the scoop…

What makes chocolate toxic to dogs?
While fat and sugar in chocolate can cause upset stomach, it is the compound Theobromine which can cause more serious and even life threatening side effects. Theobromine is most concentrated in baking chocolate, making this type of chocolate the worst for pets, followed by semisweet and dark chocolate. Milk chocolate has a lower concentration of Theobromine, followed by chocolate flavored treats being the least likely to cause chocolate toxicity.

Clinical signs of Chocolate Toxicity include:

Racing heart rhythm progressing to abnormal rhythms
Death in severe cases

There is no specific antidote for Theobromine. If chocolate toxicity is suspected, call your veterinarian immediately for treatment recommendations. If the chocolate was just eaten within 2 hours, your veterinarian may suggest inducing vomiting. If more time has passed, hospitalization and supportive treatment is likely needed until the chocolate has worked its way out of the system, which can take several days.

(From VeterinaryParnter.com) Here is a helpful chart to guide you

Number of OUNCES of CHOCOLATE a Pet Would Need to Ingest for TOXICITY
Weight of Pet
in Pounds
5 10 15 20 25 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Milk Chocolate
2 4 6 8.2 10.2 12.3 16.4 20.5 24.5 28.6 32.7 36.8 41
Dark Chocolate
0.7 1.4 2.1 2.8 3.5 4.2 5.5 6.9 8.3 9.7 11 12.5 13.8
Baking Chocolate
0.23 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.2 1.4 1.9 2.3 2.8 3.2 3.7 4.1 4.6

 A safe and happy holiday season from All Creatures Veterinary Care Center!

Let’s Talk About Ticks

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Have you been spotting ticks on your pet this summer? Well you are not alone. It seems like each year ticks seem more numerous, and our regions’ damp, dense woods make the area a perfect breeding ground for these external pests.

Ticks are skin parasites that feed on the blood of their hosts. The longer an infective tick feeds, the greater the chance of infection. A tick must be attached for 48 hours in order to transmit Lyme disease. Ticks can transmit diseases to pets and humans that the ticks contract from a previous host. While Lyme disease is one that most people have heard about, other diseases such as Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever can also be transmitted.

Some infected animals will not show any signs of disease, while others develop symptoms including lethargy, decreased appetite, painful joints, lymph node swelling and fever. If not treated, canine Lyme disease can cause severe kidney damage. When Lyme is detected early and treated with antibiotics, pets recover quickly. If you suspect your pet has been infected, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Pet store brand tick collars, dips, and topical prevention treatments may help somewhat but the most effective and safest way to control tick infestation is to prevent ticks from attaching with a prescription-strength flea and tick preventative. Ticks are most active in the spring, summer and fall; however, some species are even active in the winter, so year-round protection is best.

To protect your dog, All Creatures Veterinary Care Center recommends year-round use of Frontline, annual blood screenings and, in addition, an annual Lyme disease vaccination if you live in a high-risk area. We also recommend that you conduct thorough tick checks by running your hands down your pets’ body during tick season.

Tips on how to remove ticks from VeterinaryPartner.com:

The safest way to remove a tick is to use rubbing alcohol and a pair of tweezers. Dab rubbing alcohol on the tick, and then use the tweezers to take hold of the tick as close to the dog’s skin as you can; pull slowly and steadily. Try not to leave the tick’s head embedded in the dog’s skin. Don’t squeeze the tick because it might inject some disease-causing organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, or other agents, into the animal during the process. Risk of disease transmission to you, while removing ticks, is low but you should wear gloves if you wish to be perfectly safe. Do not apply hot matches, petroleum jelly, turpentine, nail polish, or just rubbing alcohol alone (the tick must be pulled out after application of alcohol) because these methods do not remove the ticks and they are not safe for your pet. Once you have removed a live tick, don’t dispose of it until you have killed it. Put the tick in alcohol or insecticide to kill it.

Dog Park Fun

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Dog Playing in Park

While your dog may be wonderful at home with you and your family and even other home pets, this is certainly no guarantee that your pet will be a good fit for the dog park.  Many dogs do not mean to be aggressive, but become fearful of other dogs and can display aggression as a result.  The first step is to ensure that your pet is friendly with other dogs and people, and does not display fear or aggression toward other dogs in unfamiliar environments.

Before visiting the dog park with your dog, give him a chance to spend time around other dogs in different situations so that you have a good idea of how he will react.  If your dog is not friendly with others, get help to change his behavior before you consider visiting the dog park.  Also, be sure that your pet will come to you when called for, no matter how distracted, so that you are always in control of the situation.  Here are a few more tips:

1.  Know the risks – Dog parks serve as reservoirs for many viruses and parasites since dog owners do not always clean up after their dogs promptly.  Fecal matter, left on the ground, can transmit many diseases, including roundworms, hookworms, Giardia, and Parvovirus, a life threatening virus that causes vomiting, diarrhea and massive damage to gastrointestinal tract. Your dog may also become exposed to air-borne viruses such as kennel cough, canine influenza, and even distemper virus.  Because of these disease concerns, puppies under 6-months old, as well as older or ill dogs should never be taken to the dog park.

2.  Take preventative measures – before visiting the dog park with your dog, make sure to visit your veterinarian who can ensure that your dog is up to date on all core vaccinations and can also provide an effective flea and tick preventative.  Microchipping and spaying/neutering your pet may also be discussed at that time. Regular visits for physical examinations and fecal screenings will help catch and treat infections promptly before they cause major harm.

3.  Where to go? – So your dog is healthy and strong and you have decided it’s time to visit the dog park. The best way to choose a dog park for you and your friend is by visiting several local parks without your pet first to scope out the environment, the park rules, and the visitors.  Check that other visitors are practicing safety and cleanliness with their dogs.  Find out when the slowest days/times are for your first visit with your dog.

4.  Take it slow – During your first few visits, if you are not completely comfortable with how your dog might react, don’t be afraid to muzzle your dog. Introduce your dog to other dogs gradually, staying around the entry area with your dog and allowing him to sniff other dogs before entering the park. Don’t let your dog threaten other dogs and don’t let other dogs threaten your dog – if this occurs, leave the area immediately.  Most importantly, supervise your dog at all times.


Have a safe and enjoyable time!

Your friends at All Creatures Veterinary Care Center


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