Posts Tagged ‘lewis center’

12 things you might not know about parasites…

March 1, 2013

As a pet owner, your veterinarian has probably enlightened you about the dangers of parasites.  Do you really know everything you should about these tiny, troublesome organisms?  If you haven’t spoken with your veterinarian recently, you might be putting your pet and your family at risk.   Below are some common questions and answers regarding these pesky pests:

1.  What is a parasite? What are the types of parasites that can affect pets?
  A parasite is an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense. Some parasites that may affect your pet include:
◦    Fleas
◦    Ticks
◦    Ear Mites
◦    Mange Mites
◦    Coccidia
◦    Giardia
◦    Toxoplasmosis
◦    Heartworms
◦    Hookworms
◦    Roundworms
◦    Tapeworms
◦    Whipworms

2.  Can parasites be transmitted from pets to humans?
  Yes, some worms can be transmitted in the environment, while fleas and ticks can carry and either directly or indirectly transmit several potential illnesses to humans.

3.  What are heartworms? Should I be concerned about them even if I don’t live in a high-risk area? 
Heartworms are nematodes, or microscopic worms that infect many animal species. The larvae are transmitted through mosquito bites, maturing into worms once they arrive at the heart and blood vessels of the lungs. They can grow to as much as 11 inches in length, and can cause pulmonary disease, secondary heart problems and eventually death. Everyone with a dog or cat should be concerned about heartworm; mosquitoes are everywhere, and heartworms have been diagnosed in all 50 states.

4.  How is heartworm prevented?  A simple, chewable pill can prevent heartworm in pets if taken once per month. There also is monthly spot-on prevention medication available.

5.  Why does my veterinarian have to test for heartworms annually if my pet has been on preventive all year long?  
Pets can have a life-threatening reaction if given heartworm preventive medications when they have an active heartworm infection, so your veterinarian wants to be sure that your pet does not have a heartworm infection before prescribing a heartworm preventive medication. You may have accidentally missed a dose, or your pet may have spit the heartworm medication out or vomited it up, leaving your pet unprotected for a period that you were unaware of. Combination tests for heartworms in dogs also help your veterinarian check for other diseases like those transmitted by ticks, such as Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis.

6.  How does a pet become infected with intestinal parasites?
  Pets can become infected with intestinal parasites through many routes, including:
◦    Drinking contaminated water
◦    Coming into contact with other infected animals, although it’s unlikely if it’s just through casual contact
◦    Coming into contact with feces containing parasites eggs or larvae
◦    Swallowing fleas carrying the infective stage of tapeworms
◦    Nursing from an infected mother
◦    Eating a rodent or other small animal carrying the infective stage of a parasite

7.  Why is it necessary to bring a fecal sample in to my veterinarian? 
To test for a number of internal parasites that could possibly be present.

8.  How are intestinal parasites prevented? 
Bowel movements are the source of most intestinal parasites. To avoid parasites, keep your pet away from areas where other animals relieve themselves. Dispose of your own pet’s bowel movements as quickly as possible, and keep your pet and his environment clean. Keep your pet free of fleas, and make sure a fecal exam is included in his annual preventive care exam.

9.  What are the physical signs that an intestinal parasite is present in a pet?
  Keep your eyes open for some of these changes:
◦    Change in appetite
◦    Coughing
◦    Diarrhea (sometimes with blood)
◦    Weight loss
◦    Skin irritation and itching
◦    Rough or dry coat
◦    Overall poor appearance

10.  How are intestinal parasites treated? 
The medication will vary depending on the parasite(s) involved. Your veterinarian may prescribe pills, powders, liquids, or injectable medication.

11.  Are intestinal parasites transmittable from animals to humans?  
Under some conditions, intestinal parasites can be transmitted from pets to people. Especially at risk are children, pregnant women, and immunocompromised individuals (elderly are also at risk).

12.  What can you do to protect your pet and your family from parasites?
  Responsible pet parasite control can reduce risks of pets becoming infected with parasites and their transmission to humans.
◦    Use flea, tick, and heartworm preventive year-round
◦    Visit your veterinarian annually for a preventive care exam
◦    Practice good personal hygiene
◦    Clean up pet feces regularly

If you have any questions, give us a call!  With our expanded weekday and weekend hours…. we will be here if you need us!

Your friends @ the Animal Hospital of Polaris
8928 South Old State Road
Lewis Center, Ohio  43035


Feeding Obese or Overweight Dogs

July 19, 2012


ImageHow much should you feed an overweight or obese dogs?

Here are some general rules:

If your dog is a bit overweight, try increasing the daily exercise routine. Gradually increase exercise over 2 weeks unless limited by a medical condition. If these measures fail, cut out all treats and reduce daily intake of food by up to 25 percent.

If your pet is significantly overweight or obese, stop all treats except vegetables. Increase exercise gradually over 2 to 3 weeks if not limited by a medical condition. If these measures fail, reduce the total daily food amount by 25 to 40 percent and switch to a low fat/high fiber diet. If you still are not observing progress, give us a call at (614) 888-4050 and we will be happy to discuss prescription-type reduction diets that can really be effective while providing balanced nutrition.


Cancer in pets … did you know?

June 7, 2012

ImageAccording to the American Veterinary Medical Association, Cancer accounts for almost half of the deaths of pets over 10 years of age. Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans, while cats get fewer cancers.

What are some of the signs of concern in your pet?

1. Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow

2. Sores that do not heal

3. Weight loss

4. Loss of appetite

5. Bleeding or discharge from any body opening

6. Offensive odor

7. Difficulty eating or swallowing

8. Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina

9. Persistent lameness or stiffness

10. Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating

If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, call us immediately to schedule an appointment.  If your pet is diagnosed with cancer, each type requires individual care and may include a single form of treatment or a combination of treatments.  Typical methods of treating cancer in our furry family members includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, cryosurgery (freezing), hyperthermia (heating) or immunotherapy.  Pain management is also an important part of treatment.

Some types of cancer can be cured, but other types can only be managed to decrease spread and prolong your pet’s comfort and life as much as possible. How early a cancer is detected and the type of cancer are often the biggest factors determining the success of treatment.

Meet the Trainer: Ami Jones, MS, KPA-CPT

May 30, 2012

Ami Jones, Dog Trainer at Animal Hospital of PolarisAmi always had an affinity working with animals from the time she was young.  In college, she diversified her studies (psychology, biology, ecology, anthropology) so that she could have a more well-rounded approach to understanding animal behavior.  She worked with various species and even served as the director of research for an advanced tropical ecology field school in Costa Rica.  There, she was able to release three rehabilitated black handed spider monkeys into their native habitat. In graduate school, Ami wanted to continue this multi-faceted approach and therefore earned a Masters in Evolution, Ecology and Behavior.  Her Masters project & thesis focused on the types of bonds exhibited between group members of social species.  She studied how these bonds are formed and maintained over time, and even examined how triadic interactions affect dyadic dynamics.

Well over 50% of the animals surrendered to shelters are there because of behavioral problems.  Knowing this, Ami further diversified her studies and earned national certification as a dog trainer.  Ami wanted to utilize her knowledge about the behavior of social species, bonds and how animals learn best in order to help pet owners obtain the healthiest relationship possible with their pets.  Her ultimate goal is to help bridge the human/pet communication gap.  She wants to help owners and their pets create and maintain a strong, secure and healthy bond throughout the duration of their lives.  This is why Ami only uses force-free methods and positive reinforcement training.  On the plus side, it has also been shown to be the most effective method of training that exists!  She offers puppy and adult classes, private lessons and more.

Learn more about our exciting new dog/puppy training courses on this blog or give us a call at (614) 888-4050.

Behavior Training Courses are coming to Animal Hospital of Polaris in June!

May 23, 2012

ImageAt Animal Hospital of Polaris, we’re thrilled to introduce our new puppy/dog behavior courses, lead by the very talented Ami Jones!  You may have seen her smiling face greeting you as you enter the clinic, but did you know she is highly educated in the areas of evolution, ecology, and animal behavior?  She also holds a national certification as a dog trainer.  Stop by our blog next week as we’ll be putting the spotlight on Ami!

Our various training options are carefully developed to assure positive, lasting results and help to bridge the human/pet communication gap.

  • For puppies under 6 mo. only.  $150/6 wk course.   Most generic dog training classes will teach your dog to sit, stay, and come, but these do nothing to teach your dog how to acclimate to his new home environment and why manners are important.  In this course you will learn to understand your puppy’s emotional signals and body language so you can understand him better, while at the same time teaching him to speak your language.  We will discuss topics such as housetraining, proper teething management, how to keep your kids safe, how to handle resource guarding, crate training issues and proper socialization. Additionally, you will teach your dog to respond and come when called, stay, how to walk politely on a leash and “mine” versus “take it.”  We will also spend time teaching you how to prepare your puppy for trips to the veterinarian and groomer, along with basic puppy care that you should do at home.  All puppies will receive a free fitting for a gentle leader or harness.  The first course will be a 2 hour orientation for people only—no dogs.  The remaining 5 classes will be 1 hour long and will involve training your pet to do all of these behaviors.
  • Puppy version (<6 mo.) and Adult version (>6 mo.).  $150/6 wk course.  In this class Ami will teach you the tools to be your own trainer…skills you will be able to take with you and use to help train your dog anything you want throughout his/her lifetime.  You can use these skills on all of your animals, so rather than paying for training for every pet you obtain in the future, all you need is to apply the materials you will learn in this one course!  We will teach Sit v. Stand, Lie Down, How to Settle on a Mat, Target/Touch Training, How to Follow a Target, “Watch Me,” and various fun shaping games.   You will learn to speak your dog’s language so you can understand him better, while at the same time teaching him to speak your language.  The first course will be a 2 hour orientation for people only—no dogs.  The remaining 5 classes will be one hour long and will involve training your pet to do all of these behaviors.
  • Private lessons are $80/hr, $375 for a package of 5 (save $25), or $750 for a package of 10 (save $50).  Would you rather work one-on-one?  Do you have the “basics” down but need help with one particular issue you are having?  Ami is happy to work with you and will create a training plan to fit your own personal goals and needs.  Private lessons are also great fun for the whole family to do together in order to ensure everyone is on the same page and training consistently!  For those who have nervous and anxious dogs, this could also be a better option than a class setting.

Call (614) 888-4050 now for more information and to register your pet before spaces fill up!  Our 2012 training schedule is as follows:

June 24th-July 29th

Sun, June 24th:  Orientation 12:00-2:00pm.  People only, no dogs. (Basic and Intermediate Classes will join as one large class during Orientation).

Sun, July 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th:

Basic Puppy-10:30-11:30am

Intermediate Puppy: 12-1pm

Intermediate Adult 1:30-2:30pm

August 5-September 16th:

Sun, Aug 5th:  Orientation 12:00-2:00pm.  People only, no dogs. (Basic and Intermediate Classes will join as one large class during Orientation).

Sun, Aug 12th, 19th, 26th, Sept 9th, 16th:

Basic Puppy: 10:30-11:30am

Intermediate Puppy: 12-1pm

Intermediate Adult: 1:30-2:30pm

**Note:  There will be NO CLASS September 2nd (Labor Day Weekend)

September 23rd-November 4th:

Sun, Sept 23rd:  Orientation 12:00-2:00pm.  People only, no dogs. (Basic and Intermediate Classes will join as one large class during Orientation).

Sun, Oct 7th, Oct 14th, 21st, 28th, Nov 4th

Basic Puppy: 10:30-11:30am

Intermediate Puppy: 12-1pm

Intermediate Adult: 1:30-2:30pm

**Note:  There will be NO CLASS Sept. 30th (Ami out of town)

November 11th-Dec 30th:

Sun, Nov 11th:  Orientation 12:00-2:00pm.  People only, no dogs. (Basic and Intermediate Classes will join as one large class during Orientation).

Sun, Nov 18th, Dec 2nd, 9th, 16th, 30th

Basic Puppy: 10:30-11:30am

Intermediate Puppy: 12-1pm

Intermediate Adult: 1:30-2:30pm

**Note:  There will be NO CLASS Nov 25th (Thanksgiving) or Dec 23rd (Christmas)

Mark Your Calendars for the AHOP Open House!

April 27, 2012

It’s all happening Saturday, May 12th from 12-4 pm.

Take a tour of our facility, enjoy some good food, see the latest equipment and even view a grooming demonstration.  See vendors like Trupanion pet insurance, buy safe flowers for your pets and even speak to experts from Royal Canin dog food. There will be lots of fun stuff for the kids as well including face painting!  Please extend an invitation to your friends and family as well!

Because we’ve invited children, we ask that  you not bring your pets to this event.  We will miss them but we look forward to our host of Summer events where they will be the life of the party!

We hope to see you there!

While driving north on 23 on Saturday…

April 5, 2012

I noticed that yet another “pet resort” was under construction.  Although this new facility may be close in geographic proximity, they are far removed in what they offer in comparison to the pet resort at the Animal Hospital of Polaris.  Here are some things to consider when selecting a kennel or resort for your pet while you are away from home:

  • Make certain that your kennel/resort facility has a veterinarian on staff AND on site! The health and safety of your pet depends on it.
  • Don’t pay extra for walks…. at the Animal Hospital of Polaris, our nightly rate includes 6-7 walks with your pet.  At other pet resorts, they charge $1.75 per walk!
  • Don’t pay extra for administering medication to your pet.  Our nightly rate includes ALL care for your pet, including the administration of their needed medication.  Other facilities charge an average of $6.00 per dose of medication administered.
  • Not only can the Animal Hospital of Polaris care for your canine companion while you are away, we have a designated resort just for your furry feline or even your exotic pet.

Don’t be fooled by a large warehouse that calls itself a “pet resort”…they have neither the staff nor the knowledge of how to best care for your pet.

If you are planning a trip for Easter or for this upcoming summer, give us a call and make a reservation at a facility that you know and trust.  Call us today @ 614-888-4050  to make your pet’s reservation.

Yard Safety Tips for Your Pets

March 16, 2012

Outdoor pet safety

With warmer weather approaching, our pets are longing to spend more time outdoors.  If you are fortunate enough, you might even have a backyard where your dog can run, play and explore.  Whether your pet is free to romp in a fenced in backyard or has an electric fence, there are several possible hazards in your yard that can cause injury or create problems for your dog.

Some of the possible hazards include:

  • Sharp nails or wires on fencing
  • Loose fence boards or areas where pets can sneak out, around or under
  • Trash tossed or blown into the yard that may be chewed on or ingested
  • Improperly stored toxins such as rodenticide, slug bait, fertilizer or antifreeze

If you find that your dog has become sick or injured as a result of encountering these hazards, don’t hesitate to call us at 614-888-4050!

Meet Lizzy Brunello … Groomer for Animal Hospital of Polaris!

March 9, 2012

Lizzy Brunello - Groomer for Animal Hospital of PolarisOn Wednesdays this March, be sure to schedule a groom with Lizzy for 10% off your groom!  Your furry friends will absolutely love her!

Lizzy, what roles have you held at Animal Hospital of Polaris?
I’ve been a doggy daycare attendant, boarding attendant and now I’m a groomer.

How long have you been with Animal Hospital of Polaris?
Two years now.

What is the hardest part of your job?
In daycare, watching the dogs behavior toward other dogs, and making sure they are minding their manners and being nice to one another.

Do you have any pets?
Yes, I have three dogs.  Chico the Chihuahua, Dash the Maltese mix, and Tinkerbell the Yorkie.  They are so much fun, and have a lot of energy and personality.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I like to write (i.e. quotes, messages, and inspirational life lessons).  Writing is my best way of expressing myself.

Any grooming advice for pet owners?
For your pets that have long hair, it is very important if you are bathing at home between grooms to brush and comb them out before and after their bath.  This is to prevent the hair from tangling or “matting” as we call it.  In doing this, it will not only help our your groomer but it will help prevent them from having to be shaved.  If you need tips on how to brush out your furry friend, please do not hesitate to ask your groomer!

Thanks, Lizzy!

Keeping your pet hydrated is extremely important!

March 7, 2012

Proper hydration is crucial in the healing process; however, the ill or painful dog may not be interested in drinking. It is important NOT to force water into your dog, as it could lead to aspiration pneumonia if your dog is not swallowing appropriately.

Pet hydration - Animal Hospital of Polaris

Listed below are several options to encourage your dog to intake water:

1. Give your dog an ice cube to lick.

2. Allow your dog to lick water from your hand or your finger.

3. Feed canned dog food, as it has a higher water content.

4. Add warm water or low-sodium broth to your dog’s food.

5. With your veterinarian’s permission, offer small amounts of Pedialyte.

6. Adding an ice cube to the water bowl can encourage some dogs to drink.

If your dog is weak and not interested in food or water, call your veterinarian immediately. Call us at any time at (614) 888-4050 should you have questions regarding your pet’s health, particularly if you are concerned about a state of dehydration!