Category Archives: Dr. Balmer

COMMUNITY LEADER PROFILE: Meet our own Dr. Heather Balmer!

Dr. Heather Balmer & Dill
For those of you who are not aware of the amazing things that Heather does in our community as well as our hospital, just read the interview below! – How long have you been working at AHDC? For 13 years as kennel, technician assistant and then veterinarian. I’ve been a vet with AHDC for almost 3 years now. -Where are you originally from? Penbrook (Harrisburg) -How long have you been in the area? My whole life – Where did you go to school? University of Pennsylvania for vet school, Juniata College for undergrad -Describe your role in the area pet community? I occasionally help with spay/neuter clinics and Castaway Critters events -What would you say is the most important impact that AHDC has? We try to make our client feel like family. For example we have pictures with Santa every year and love having other events for our clients. -Was would you say was the one greatest pet related, community accomplishment that you personally have had? Working with Castaway Critters and their spay/neuter program in 2011 -At what point in your life did you realize that you had such a deep connection with pets? Growing up we always had pets so I always felt a connection -List your pets and names throughout the years (including childhood ones): Too many to mention, but through the years I’ve had hamsters, mice, gerbils, and many cats and dogs. Currently I have Dill who is my little prince cat, he’s 14 and Rusty who is my pleasantly plump 5 year old cat who is currently on a strict diet. -What kind of food do you feed your pets? Both of my boys are on prescription Hill’s diets. Dill is on J/D for his old man joints and Rusty is on M/D to control his ever growing belly. PERSONAL QUESTIONS -What is your favorite movie? I prefer TV over movies but I love anything Disney -What kind of music do you like? Country, hip-hop, pop (Top 40) -What was the last book that you read? Harry Potter (it’s been awhile since I’ve had time to read for enjoyment) -Where was your last vacation? Disney Cruise to the Bahamas -Other personal information? I have 3 younger brothers, a niece, and 2 nephews.

First Puppy Visit for the Steinbaugh Family, and a Smart Question about Ticks

“Morrison” with Mom, Rachel Steinbaugh and daughters Chloe and Alyvia visited AHDC yesterday for his first-time puppy visit. We checked a fecal sample, examined him and checking a tick bite. Rachel asked a question that many clients ask, “Is the head of the tick still in”? It is important to use caution when removing a tick if it is attached and biting your pet. There are many tricks of the trade, using peanut butter, alcohol, even a match that has just been blown out. Dr. Heather Balmer fears that those methods can lead to the tick burrowing in further. She recommends using tweezers or a tick pulling device while using a spinning motion and pulling the tick out. Once you remove the tick, you will likely see the microscopic pieces of the tick’s prongs that look like black specks and this is almost impossible to avoid. You will also likely see a red bump and you may apply triple antibiotic ointment to the area if you wish. Ticks spread a few diseases and Lyme Disease is one of them and it is prevalent in our area. If your pet has been infected by Lyme Disease, you will not notice a red ring on your pet as our human doctors advise us to look for. Instead, you should look for limping that might switch from leg to leg, but not always, fever, or a decreased appetite. Symptoms usually appear within 14 days, but can appear sooner. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us for help. We will test for Lyme approximately 2-3 weeks after the tick bite and in some cases, we will recommend additional testing to be certain. We will also use antibiotics to treat the infection and this may be a 4-6 week treatment. Talk to us today about the best tick prevention for your pet!