Category Archives: Dr. Sarsfield

Cat Rabies Vaccines!

Is your cat current on his or her Rabies vaccine? Did you know that the Rabies vaccine is required by law in all cats 3 months and older in the state of Pennsylvania? Do you decide not to vaccinate since your cat is indoor only? Despite the fact that most cats are indoor only, there are still ways that they can be exposed to rabies. One of our clients discovered this recently when her unvaccinated indoor only cats came in contact with a bat on her enclosed porch. She had the bat tested and it came back positive for rabies. Now her house is under quarantine for 6 months. The owner is experiencing how scary rabies can be and is concerned that something could happen to her family or her cats. She is hopeful that a rabies post-exposure protocol with be enough to protect her cats and her family with coming down with this fatal disease. Think this won’t happen to you? Our client didn’t either. In recent years, more domestic cats have tested positive for rabies than domestic dogs. Our pets are our first line of defense against the spread of rabies to humans. The rabies vaccine has been proven to protect our cats from developing rabies and this means protecting the humans they live with as well. Cats are more likely to spread rabies to humans than dogs. In cats, the disease often causes paralysis and pain, causing them to bite other animals and even their owners. We want to help protect your family members (both cats and humans). Please make sure your cat’s rabies vaccine is up to date. If you find that the rabies is not up to date, we would be happy to set up a wellness appointment for you.

Dr. Bob and the Team Raise $600 in the Penguin Plunge

Congratulations to Dr. Bob and Stacy Colm for raising $600 to support the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area by participating (again) in the Penguin Plunge. Participants get the pleasure of jumping into the chilly Susquehanna River on New Year’s Day. According to Dr. Bob, the temperature wasn’t too bad this year, but the wind was an issue. The event raised $20,000 for the Humane Society.

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!

Why We Use “Human” Anesthesia

It is one of the scariest things we do as pet owners: drop off our dogs and cats for surgery. Just the idea of our “kids” going under anesthesia can induce stomach-turning anxiety. That’s why we use human-grade anesthesia at the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County. It’s called Sevoflurane and it’s the safest gas anesthetic available for animals today. It is commonly used in human medicine. Years ago we moved to it because dogs and cats just wake up better on it. They wake up rapidly and smoothly after surgery. Continue reading Why We Use “Human” Anesthesia

Dr. Bob’s New Patient: Coco the Bear

We’ve been fans of the Hersey Bears for years. Several members of our staff are team junkies and have season tickets. Even some of the players have brought their pets here for care. Coco The BearRecently we heard that the team’s mascot Coco the Bear didn’t have veterinary care. Well it got us thinking. Doesn’t a giant, brown, skating bear deserve health care like the rest of us? Continue reading Dr. Bob’s New Patient: Coco the Bear

Why Do I Have to Bring a Fecal (Also Known as Poop)?

Fecals are one of the most important aspects of your pet’s care. But getting one and bringing it to the vet can be annoying. Who wants to carry a bag of poop in the car? Even though it’s a pain, we highly recommend that all of our clients bring fresh stool samples to their routine wellness exams. Continue reading Why Do I Have to Bring a Fecal (Also Known as Poop)?

Dr. Sarsfield: The Number 1 Way to Prevent Diabetes in your Cat

Diabetes is a fairly common disease of older cats. The disease is caused by a lack of insulin activity which results in a very high level of blood sugar. The signs shown by diabetic cats include increased thirst, increased urination, increased appetite and significant weight loss. Rarely, cats with diabetes may present with vomiting, diarrhea or difficulty walking. If the veterinarians at the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County suspect your cat may have diabetes, we will run a panel of blood tests and a urinalysis. When the diagnosis is confirmed, we’ll put your cat on a special diet and start injections of insulin twice daily. Blood sugars are checked regularly to monitor the response to the diet and insulin. Goals of treatment are to keep the blood sugar low enough so the excess drinking and urination subside and the cat regains some of the lost weight. Diabetes is much easier to prevent than it is to treat. The number one risk factor for diabetic cats is obesity. Keeping your cat at an ideal body weight through proper nutrition and exercise is the best way to prevent diabetes. – Dr. Sarsfield.

Dr. Sarsfield says “Watch out for Lyme Disease this Fall”

It’s getting colder and so it’s tempting to ease off on the flea and tick preventatives. Don’t! Central Pennsylvania has one of the highest rates of Lyme positive dogs in the United States. The Animal Hospital of Dauphin County sees hundreds of positive dogs each year. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection which can cause illness in dogs, horses and humans. The disease became prevalent in humans in the 1970s, and the first case in dogs was found in 1985. The bacteria that cause Lyme disease are known as Borrelia. In nature, these bacteria are carried by mice, deer and birds, but they do not cause illness in these animals. The Borrelia bacteria are ingested by the deer tick when they feed on the blood of the carrier animals. When the tick drops off the animal, it grows into a more mature stage and then feeds on another animal. In dogs, the bacteria are transferred over 12 to 48 hours after the tick attaches and begins to feed. The Lyme bacteria travel from the site of the tick bite to the joints where they multiply. Symptoms of the disease include fever, swollen joints, limping and reluctance to move. The brain, the heart and the kidneys can also be affected. And when Lyme bacteria hits the kidney, it’s the worst case and is often fatal in days. The diagnosis of Lyme disease is confirmed by a blood test, which can be performed in our hospital in 10 to 15 minutes with very high accuracy. We may also perform additional tests on Lyme positive dogs: radiographs and additional blood tests to assess internal organ function. We use the antibiotic doxycycline to treat Lyme disease and also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to control the joint pain. Prevention of Lyme disease is critical to avoid the severe forms of the disease which attack the internal organs:
  • Daily checks for ticks are important.
  • Second, we recommend vaccination to prevent Lyme disease.
  • Finally, we recommend flea and tick control products including Frontline Plus and Revolution.
– Dr. Sarsfield