All posts by importedcontent

Bee Stings

By: Dr. Heather Balmer, VMD

April showers bring May flowers and May flowers bring BEES! Since many of our pets are curious about everything around them, it is only a matter of time before they encounter a less than understanding bee. Some have even been known to try and ingest the bees leading to a more painful (and traumatic) encounter.
If your pet does get stung, there is no need to panic. In most cases, the only treatment involved is some gentle reassuring that the big mean bee is gone and never going to hurt them again. However, it is important to watch for any swelling or hives. Like people, some animals are also allergic to bee stings. If you notice any swelling or itchiness, contact your veterinarian. Many of these cases can be handled at home with Benadryl but you should check with a vet as to a safe dose for your pet before giving it. With severe allergic reactions, there is the risk of throat/neck swelling and trouble breathing, much like an anaphylactic reaction. These are rare but if this were to happen, seek immediate veterinary care and be sure to contact the hospital on your way so they can be prepared for your pet’s emergency.

Still want to know more? Take a look at this Bee Stings 101 article.

Asthma and Allergies in Pets


As if we need another reason to be aware of me, May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Many of my social media friends may not realize this but I suffer from environmental allergies. This is why my coat is sometimes less than perfect. While other sufferers may be embarrassed by this fact, I want to use my position as an AHDC blogger to spread awareness of allergies in my dog and cat friends. Our allergy symptoms are often different than those you experience. Below I listed some common symptoms you may see in your allergic pets:

  • Red staining to feet and fur (saliva stains red)
  • Licking or chewing feet
  • General itchiness
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Sneezing with clear nasal discharge
  • Clear eye discharge

I’m also going to share the spotlight today with my friend, Duck, who has been diagnosed with asthma. Duck gets treated regularly with an inhaler to help keep his symptoms at bay.

Asthma is a much more serious illness and needs to be addressed quickly. Here are signs to watch for if you are concerned about asthma:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing or gagging
  • Trouble breathing
  • Blue lips or gums
  • Open mouth breathing

If you notice any of these symptoms in your 4-legged kids, please call my friends at AHDC.


Inside Parasites

Think your indoor pet is safe from parasites? Think Again! jcAs many of you know, I am one that prefers the comfort of the indoors. However, that doesn’t mean I’m lax on my parasite prevention and awareness. There are many indoor sources of both external and internal parasites and I want to make sure all my friends are aware of these risks so they can protect their pets as well. Insects: We animals love stalking and hunting those creepy crawlies, but that provides its own set of risks. Did you know that cockroaches can be infected and pass both roundworms and hookworms?! Flies also carry and spread roundworms when we catch the delicious pests. There has even been some early evidence the stink bugs may carry giardia. Like we needed another reason to hate these guys! Mice: Outdoor cats have long known this fact, but the same hold true for us indoor hunters. Eating mice puts animals at risk for tapeworm and roundworm infections as well as they can carry fleas and ticks. Mosquitos: These bloodsuckers carry their own unique risk to my animal friends. Mosquitos carry a very dangerous parasite called heartworm disease which can be fatal, especially in cats. More than 25% of cats diagnosed with heartworm disease, were considered indoor only by their people parents! We’re not safe anywhere! Potting Soil: Did you know that 15% of commercial potting soil is contaminated with roundworm eggs?! Gross! Carriers: Like it or not, you are also a source of parasites for us. Not directly of course, but fleas and ticks can hitch a ride on your clothes. Fleas and ticks prefer our warmer body temperatures; so given a choice, they will leave you and attack us instead. And don’t forget, you can track dirt in from your shoes. 20% of the soil around here is contaminated with roundworm and hookworm eggs. These eggs are microscopic so you would never even know they were there. And lastly, if you have other pets that do go outside, they bring things inside to us also such as fleas and intestinal parasites. To add insult to injury, some pests even carry other pests. Fleas are a main source of one type or tapeworm. When we ingest them trying to get them off of us, we can become infected with tapeworms. Now that’s just plain rude! For more info on these parasites, visit

Bow Wow Boot Camp!


My favorite canine rehab specialist and AHDC held a really fun Bow Wow Boot Camp this Sunday. I helped set up and tried some things but then got myself out of there before I was forced to do too much exercise. I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to working out but my veterinary friends have yet to confirm this diagnosis. However, Dr. Balmer and Kelly Straub told me that all the dogs had a great time and did awesome work. Everyone was exhausted by the end and learned a lot of new tricks and exercises. Great job boot camp stars!: Elroy D’alfonso, Thunder Loughry, Indy Beard, Crosby Romah, and Bradley Zanes (Balmer).

To learn more about Bow Wow Boot Camp, visit our Facebook event page!


JC and Flea/Tick Season

HELP! I’ve been attacked by giant mutant fleas and ticks! They are taking over the hospital! APRIL FOOLS!

But even though we don’t have to worry about mutant pests (Yet!), even regular sized fleas and ticks can be a real pain for us animals. Don’t forget to protect your pets by treating them monthly for fleas and ticks. My friends at AHDC want to make it even easier for you as the weather is getting warmer by giving you sweet deals of up to $50 in savings on select preventative products.


JC: National Poison Prevention Week

This week is National Poison Prevention Week. It’s a hard life being a cat (or a dog). So many of the things you humans enjoy can be potentially toxic and dangerous to us. Lilies, chocolate, alcoholic beverages, coffee, and daffodils! How is such a cute boy supposed to celebrate Easter and spring without these!?

Thankfully I’m protected by my humans who keep me away from such temptations which could cause me serious harm. Knowing the potential dangers is the best way to protect your pet. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies so we rely on you to keep us away from these things. Many common products and plants in everyday life can be extremely toxic to us animals, to help I found these links to help you keep your own pets safe:



March is Seniors for Seniors Month

It’s Seniors for Seniors Month! Help a few senior cats find their lucky forever home and enjoy loving companionship! Castaway Critters is promoting Seniors for Seniors all through March. Humans 62 and older qualify to adopt senior cats at the discounted minimum adoption donation of $25. All cats have been fully vetted! They have been spayed or neutered, vaccinated, tested for diseases, and micro-chipped. Most of these cats have also had complete senior blood-work panels, urinalysis, and all necessary dental needs met.

The special adoption event will be this Saturday, March 14th from 10am to 2pm at ASpecial Adoption Event at Abrams and Weakley Store for Animals. Check out all the available cats now!

Abrams and Weakley Store for Animals
3963 N. 6th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110

seniors for seniors

Introduction to JC


I’d like to introduce myself. My name is JC. I live at and run the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County. I have many pets here, or humans as they call themselves, and have trained them all to treat and love all animals that come through our doors. I think it’s time that our friends see some things from my point of view. So, with some help from my pets, I hope to keep you updated with things happening in and around my AHDC home. But first, a couple facts about myself:

  • I’m diabetic but that doesn’t stop me from loving life and living every day to its fullest

  • I can tell time with only my stomach. I know exactly when I should be fed and will start reminding you up to 2 hours before so you have plenty of time to prepare

  • Balmer says I have mad swag, whatever that is, but all I know is I hate when these people pick me up and kiss me. How embarrassing!

  • I regularly complete my rounds of the kennel area and make sure all our patients are happy and comfortable

  • While I have many beds and chairs to lounge on, my favorite place is the keyboard.

Stay tuned for more of my blogs and fun facts…


Laser Therapy

The Animal Hospital of Dauphin County is excited to offer laser therapy to our patients. We use a state of the art Companion Therapy Laser® class IV laser that is a drug-free, surgery-free, and non-invasive means of treating inflammatory and painful conditions in dogs and cats. It works at the cellular level to increase blood flow, decrease inflammation and speed up healing. It can be used for temporary and chronic problems, from “hot spots” to arthritis! Most owners see noticeable improvement in chronic problems within 3-4 treatments. Here are just a few of the conditions that can be treated with laser therapy:

• Arthritis
• Fractures
• Wounds
• Gingivitis/stomatitis
• Lick granulomas
• Ear infections/ear hematomas
• Hot spots (dermatitis)
• Sprains/strains
• Post-surgical pain

If you would like more information on how laser therapy can help your pet, please let us know! You can give us a call at 717-652-1270.

Clients in their doggles (yes, doggles not goggles) to protect their eyes during laser therapy!


Healthy Pet, Healthy You Program

Many of us want to be healthier in the New Year, doesn’t your pet deserve the same opportunity?

Our new program called “Healthy Pet, Healthy You” offers you and your pet:

– Individualized exercise and fitness guidance for you and your pet
– Healthy feeding tips
– Nutrition Information

To jump start our program we will be having a “Getting to Know You” session on THIS SUNDAY, January 11th at 3PM. This session will go over basic exercises and nutrition information with our canine rehab therapist, Kelly Straub, and one of our veterinarians, Dr. Fletcher. We will also discuss our individualized “Healthy Pet, Healthy You” program at this session. Cost of attendance is only $22.50 to learn how to help your 4 legged friend reach his or her New Year’s Resolution.

Please contact our office at 717-652-1270 or email to RSVP or for more information.

fitness pet