Category Archives: All Entries

We’re Improving!

This week marks an important milestone for our hospital. We are upgrading our computer software system. The new system ultimately will allow us to serve you better and faster. For the first few days of the transition, we are extending some of our appointment times to allow our staff time to adjust to the new system. We hope this decreases any delays in serving you, but we do expect there may be some longer wait times. Also, some of your favorite staff may be in training this week and unavailable to meet with you. We apologize ahead of time and ask for your support as we work on this critical project. Thank you for your understanding!

15th Annual Penguin Plunge

AHDC’s own Dr. Sarsfield and Stacey Colm, one of our Veterinary Technician Assistants, are just crazy enough about animal welfare to be participating in this year’s Penguin Plunge to benefit the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area (HSHA). Both Dr. Sarsfield and Stacey participated last year and we guess they didn’t get enough! They will be venturing into the icy Susquehanna River at noon sharp on New Year’s Day to raise money for the homeless pets in the care of HSHA. Any donations will be accepted at the front desk and are greatly appreciated. What a great way to welcome in the new year!

Holiday Advisory: Grapes/Raisins

Happy Holidays from the doctors and staff at AHDC! It’s that special time of year again. Time for family, friends, decorations, and good food. One family member that is important to keep in mind this holiday season is the family cat or dog. With the house being filled with good sights and smells, it is essential to keep in mind the potential dangers that certain delicious temptations can bring to our furry friends. This is the first informative post of many!

Grapes and raisins can be toxic to both cats and dogs. Grapes and raisins can cause acute kidney failure. At this time, the toxic component is not known. Additionally, there is a large range of the “toxic” dose of raisins and grapes. Some animals can be affected after eating just one grape, others more. Signs of raisin/grape toxicity include vomiting, lethargy and diarrhea within hours of ingestion and last for weeks post-ingestion.
  • What to do: contact your veterinarian immediately. If it has been a recent ingestion (<4 hours), your veterinarian may need to induce vomiting and protect the GI tract by administered activated charcoal which helps bind toxins. Afterwards, your veterinarian may suggest bloodwork to obtain baseline values of the kidney and the treat aggressively with intravenous fluids for 2-3 days. If kidney failure does not occur, the prognosis for recovery is fairly good.
  • Caution: fruitcakes definitely contain raisins and sometimes cranberry sauces contain raisins too, please be sure to keep the holiday treats out of reach.
Next time: turkey and turkey bones

Thankful for a Microchip!

Something as small as a microchip might not seem that important when you bring your pet in to see the vet, but it can be the best investment you make. This Thanksgiving, one family will say thanks that their dog GZ was brought back to them because the rescue they got him from microchipped him prior to his adoption in 2006. GZ came into the Animal Hospital of Dauphin on Monday, November 14th after being bitten by another dog. The person who brought him in was a good samaritan who had found him after the flooding in September. He named him Lucky and took care of him since he couldn’t find the owner. He brought Lucky in after he was bitten by a dog that had come onto his property. Routinely, any found pet is scanned for a microchip when they are brought in to the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County. When we found a microchip on Lucky, we started to track down the owner. We were able to reunite GZ with his family who had been looking for him for about 2 months when he ran off chasing something on September 9th and couldn’t find his way home. GZ is happy to be back with his family in Pillow, PA and is healing well from his bite wounds. His family still can’t believe that they were able to find him again thanks to a little microchip.

Cute Patient Alert: Gemini!

Hi! My name is Gemini and I am an outgoing, happy girl who loves everybody. I am what pit bull lovers call a pocket pitty, weighing in at around only 38 pounds at 1 year of age. This may be small for an American Pit Bull Terrier but it’s pretty big for a lap dog which is what I have decided I like being. Don’t let my size fool you though cause I am one strong girl! Today was my first visit at the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County and it was great! There were all these people petting me and letting me sit in their laps, and I even got a treat for being such a good girl. The technician said I would be a model patient if only I’d stop wiggling! I used to be a shelter puppy at the Humane Society but now I am with my new, wonderful family, the Bartons. I even have a big sister to play with! It’s great! I hope my friends at the Humane Society find forever homes that are as fabulous as mine!

Allergic Reactions in Your Pet: What to watch out for

This poor guy came to AHDC after his owners noticed his face and eyes were swelling. We do not know what caused the swelling, but after treatment by the AHDC team, this patient’s face returned to normal. Severe allergic reactions, also known as anaphylactic reactions, can occur in dogs and cats (more common in dogs). The symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction is swelling around the eyes, muzzle/lips, severe itchiness and bumps that form under the skin. Boxers and pitbulls are most often affected with the type of reaction that forms large bumps under the skin. In our patient to the left, note the swelling around his eyes and lips. In addition to facial swelling and skin bumps, other signs include fast heart rate, excitability, pale gums, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea and most concerning, sudden collapse. There are many causes of severe allergic reactions, although sometimes the cause is never found for an individual patient. Some causes include insect bites or stings, snake bites, fabric softeners or other chemicals or even some food ingredients. Anaphylactic reactions, although quite uncommon, are potentially life-threatening and need medical attention immediately. Once your pet arrives at the hospital, they will likely be taken to the treatment area to immediately be assessed by one of our veterinarians. One of our veterinarians will likely give injections of a steroid, an antihistamine and an antacid (it is very important to let the veterinary team know if your pet is currently taking any medications especially a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as Rimadyl, Deramaxx, or aspirin). The steroid and the antihistamine will stop the swelling and itchiness. The antacid protects the GI tract during this shocking condition in the pet. In severe cases, the veterinary staff may need to place an IV catheter and give IV fluids. The allergic reaction will likely start to resolve in the first 1-2 hours and completely over the next 24 hours. The veterinarian will likely prescribe some medications to give to the pet for the next few days at home. It is possible for an allergic reaction of this type to happen again if they are exposed to the cause, but cases in which the cause is unknown, may never have it occur again.

What a Cute Patient!

Sometimes our patients are so adorable we just can’t refrain from letting the whole world know! Here’s what Moki had to say about his first visit to AHDC: Hi, my name is Moki and I am an English Mastiff / Bull Mastiff mix and I am terribly cute if I do say so myself. I was very excited to be at my first visit at the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County. My likes include eating strange things that mom and dad don’t want me to and falling asleep in the exam room after all of the excitement. I don’t think I have any dislikes. The technician told my mom that I was an excellent patient. I didn’t even fuss one little bit when they took my temperature. Before you know it I was all done, having gotten a clean bill of health from Doctor Sarsfield, and on my way home with my wonderful new family. Mom and dad were happy to know that I am healthy as a horse or a small pony which is about how big I will probably get! Hard to believe since I’m not even 20 pounds yet! Hope to see all my friends at AHDC soon!