Gastrointestinal Foreign Body

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

A 7-month old American Bulldog mix was referred to us at Town and Country Animal Hospital for a 3 week history of vomiting and pancreatitis. Amazingly, the pet was not having diarrhea but was continuing to vomit, even while on medication. The owners had spent long nights force feeding the pet I/D (a gastrointestinal food prescription) and attempting to give water so there would be no dehydration. When admitted, a foreign body gas pattern was seen with the abdominal radiographs, and an intestinal foreign body was strongly suspected. The puppy was taken to surgery and the foreign body was found within the small intestine adjacent to the pancreas. To all of our amazement it was a dish towel (yes the type of dish towel that we all leave in our kitchens) and string attachments were found imbedded in the intestine. 18 inches of the small intestine had to be removed and a surgical procedure of the reconnection between 2 formerly distant portions of the intestine had to be done, but we were not done yet. An incision was performed in the stomach to remove the rest of the towel and then the abdomen was closed. The puppy took a while to recover fully due to the length of his illness and the concern of his pancreatic function. Today he is a normal healthy adult with no lingering issues.

tank 1

tank 4

Questions and Answers about Ebola & Pets

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014


The ongoing epidemic of Ebola in West Africa has raised several questions about how the disease affects the animal population, and in particular, the risk to household pets. While the information available suggests that the virus may be found in several kinds of animals, CDC, the US Department of Agriculture, and the American Veterinary Medical Association do not believe that pets are at significant risk for Ebola in the United States.

How are animals involved in Ebola outbreaks?

Because the natural reservoir host of Ebola has not yet been confirmed, the way in which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak is unknown. However, scientists believe that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal, such as a fruit bat or primate (apes and monkeys), which is called a spillover event. Person-to-person transmission follows and can lead to large numbers of affected persons. In some past Ebola outbreaks, primates were also affected by Ebola, and multiple spillover events occurred when people touched or ate infected primates. In the current West African epidemic, animals have not been found to be a factor in ongoing Ebola transmission.

How does Ebola spread?

When infection occurs in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with

  • blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
  • objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
  • Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, by food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats.
  • Only a few species of mammals (for example, humans, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus. There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus.

Can dogs get infected or sick with Ebola?

At this time, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or of being able to spread Ebola to people or other animals. Even in areas in Africa where Ebola is present, there have been no reports of dogs and cats becoming sick with Ebola. There is limited evidence that dogs become infected with Ebola virus, but there is no evidence that they develop disease.

Here in the United States, are our dogs and cats at risk of becoming sick with Ebola?

The risk of an Ebola outbreak affecting multiple people in the United States is very low. Therefore, the risk to pets is also very low, as they would have to come into contact with blood and body fluids of a person with Ebola. Even in areas in Africa where Ebola is present, there have been no reports of dogs and cats becoming sick with Ebola.

Can I get Ebola from my dog or cat?

At this time, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or of being able to spread Ebola to people or animals. The chances of a dog or cat being exposed to Ebola virus in the United States is very low as they would have to come into contact with blood and body fluids of a symptomatic person sick with Ebola.

Can my pet’s body, fur, or paws spread Ebola to a person?

We do not yet know whether or not a pet’s body, paws, or fur can pick up and spread Ebola to people or other animals. It is important to keep people and animals away from blood or body fluids of a person with symptoms of Ebola infection.

What if there is a pet in the home of an Ebola patient?

CDC recommends that public health officials in collaboration with a veterinarian evaluate the pet’s risk of exposure to the virus (close contact or exposure to blood or body fluids of an Ebola patient). Based on this evaluation as well as the specific situation, local and state human and animal health officials will determine how the pet should be handled.

Can I get my dog or cat tested for Ebola?

There would not be any reason to test a dog or cat for Ebola if there was no exposure to a person infected with Ebola. Currently, routine testing for Ebola is not available for pets.

What are the requirements for bringing pets or other animals into the United States from West Africa?

CDC regulations require that dogs and cats imported into the United States be healthy. Dogs must be vaccinated against rabies before arrival into the United States. Monkeys and African rodents are not allowed to be imported as pets under any circumstances.

Each state and U.S. Territory has its own rules for pet ownership and importation, and these rules may be different from federal regulations. Airlines may have additional requirements.

Can monkeys spread Ebola?

Yes, monkeys are at risk for Ebola. Symptoms of Ebola infection in monkeys include fever, decreased appetite, and sudden death. Monkeys should not be allowed to have contact with anyone who may have Ebola. Healthy monkeys already living in the United States and without exposure to a person infected with Ebola are not at risk for spreading Ebola.

Can bats spread Ebola?

Fruit bats in Africa are considered to be a natural reservoir for Ebola. Bats in North America are not known to carry Ebola and so CDC considers the risk of an Ebola outbreak from bats occurring in the United States to be very low. However, bats are known to carry rabies and other diseases here in the United States. To reduce the risk of disease transmission, never attempt to touch a bat, living or dead.

Where can I find more information about Ebola and pet dogs and cats?

CDC is currently working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and many other partners to develop additional guidance for the U.S. pet population. Additional information and guidance will be posted on this website as well as partner websites as soon as it becomes available.

For additional information on Ebola visit ( 

Is Your New Puppy from a Puppy Mill?

Monday, October 6th, 2014

So you are looking for a puppy, maybe you’re a first time dog owner. You have heard about puppy mills and know they are bad. But what you don’t know is how to make sure you don’t accidentally buy from one. Here are 10 signs to help you determine if the puppy you are looking at is from a puppy mill or not as listed in site.

Puppy mill

#1 – Out-of-State

You really should just stay away from pet stores when buying a puppy. Be especially worried if those puppies are coming from out-of-state, particularly Midwest states (Missouri and Illinois are two of the biggest).

#2 – No Parents

If the breeder cannot let you meet the parents, you should walk away. Not meeting the parents is like buying a car without knowing the make. Don’t do it. For all you know, these people did not even breed the puppy, but are selling him secondhand for unknown reasons.

#3 – Let’s Meet

If you call a breeder and they say “let’s meet somewhere” when you ask to visit their kennel, it’s a puppy mill. Usually they will try to get you to meet in a store parking lot or a park. Unless there are extreme circumstances, there is no reason why should not see where your puppy was born..

Puppy Blog 2

#4 – Several Breeds

Reputable breeders focus on one breed, maybe two, MAX. If you find a site offering five different breeds (and their mixes!), it’s a puppy mill.

#5 – Multiple Litters

When you call the breeder and ask if they have puppies, do they respond with “I have one litter coming, but there is already a waiting list” or “oh yes, I have 3 litters on the ground and 2 more on the way”? If the breeder has 30 puppies, that is definitely a puppy mill.

#6 – Vaccinations

Puppy mills don’t like to spend money, it deters from profits. So the parents may not be vaccinated (you should ask!) and the puppies probably are not. Or, conversely, they have so many puppies they lost track and your pup got vaccinated twice.

Puppy Blog

#7 – Extreme Promises

Dr. Kathryn Primm DVM, owner and chief veterinarian of Applebrook A.H., says to be wary about the breeder promising a certain size, temperament, or characteristic that seems extreme. For example, a dog came into her clinic that was supposed to be a Pomeranian and Husky mix that the breeder had promised would never grow lover than 7 pounds. She was 42 pounds!

#8 – Cleanliness

This goes for the dog and the breeder’s home or kennel. Dr. Primm says puppies from puppy mills are more likely to smell like a kennel and have poor coat quality.

#9 – Contract

Your breeder should care enough about what happens to the puppy that she has a contract protecting both you and her. Reputable breeders have a spay/neuter agreement, breed papers, health contract, and a request that you return the dog to them if it doesn’t work out (rather than dumping him at the shelter.)

#10 – Too Young

Another way they can cut their costs is by giving you the puppy early, because they do not have to feed them, give them shots, etc. Question any breeder wanting to give you the puppy before they are eight weeks old. This is the minimum age you should be taking a puppy from their mother and litter-mates.

Our Doctors at Town & Country A.H. can give you plenty of information about breeds, maintenance, nutrition, training and much more. If you are in the market for a new four legged addition to your family, know we can assist in helping you choose the right breed and help you avoid puppy mills!

We are available anytime at or contact us at (305) 238-2222.

Anal Glands

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Anal glands are a scent gland that sits just inside the anal opening in both cats and dogs. If functioning normally, they empty onto the feces as an animal defecates. In some animals, primarily small dogs, they do not empty properly and can become impacted and then abscessed.
When an anal gland abscesses, a small opening happens in the skin. The opening drains pus and anal gland secretions.
If a dog or cat is having frequent infections and impactions we recommend removal of the anal glands. Each gland and associated duct is removed from a small skin incision next to the anus. When this surgery is done by an experienced surgeon, such as Dr.Mordaunt, it is a fast and effective treatment to a long term problem. If you suspect your pet has anal gland problems please bring them in for us to assess them.

Anal gland diagram

Caudal Stomatitis

Thursday, September 11th, 2014


Caudal Stomatitis

Caudal Stomatitis is an oral disease seen most commonly in cats. Most owners will notice bad breath, heavy drooling, and some cats have a decreased appetite. These cats will have redness and swelling at the back of the mouth, ulcers of the gums and breakdown of the back teeth.

Caudal Stomatitis is the body having an over-reaction to the tarter and enamel on the teeth. Steroids and antibiotics can sometimes decrease the disease but the only way to cure it is to remove all of the back teeth.

This is Adam. He is a 2 year old Ragdoll cat with caudal stomatitis. He had severe bleeding ulcers at the back of his mouth and had stopped eating. All of his premolars and molars were extracted and the gums were trimmed and cleaned thoroughly.

stomatitis 1








stomatitis 2








One month post-surgery he is significantly improved. We will continue to monitor him to see any medications are needed.

 stomatitis recheck

A Very Special Boy and His Very Special Dog…

Monday, August 25th, 2014


Owen Howkins and Haatchi both know what it means to be dealt a tough hand. Owen was born with a rare genetic disease called Schwartz-Jampel Syndrome which means his muscles are always tensed. Haatchi, a beautiful Anatolian Shepherd was just ten months old when a barbaric human tied him to a railroad track and left him to die.

Haatchi was hit by a train and lay suffering for days before he was rescued. His severely damaged leg had to be amputated and he lost part of his tail. With his injuries it was hard to find a home for Haatchi but then Will Howkins, Owen’s dad, adopted him.

Whatever he may be missing in limbs he makes up for with heart. And he has transformed 7-year-old Owen’s life.

Owen became self conscious about his appearance and realized he was different when he was quite young. Soon he no longer wanted to leave the house. But since Haatchi came into his life he can’t wait to go outside and take him for walks.

Dad Will, who is an engineer in the British air force, said boy and dog hate to be apart. Haatchi has now completed a Pets as Therapy training course and will visit military amputees injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The famous Crufts dog show in England honored Haatchi this year with its Friends for Life award — but the real reward is the special bond he has with Owen.

From the June 2013 issue of Cesar’s Way magazine.

Read more:

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Into the WATER!

The dog paddle doesn’t always come naturally; sometimes you have to teach a dog to swim

swimming dogs

It’s a dog owner’s dream: a hot summer afternoon, a lovely lake and you, swinging off a rope into the local watering hole. Then splash! Good old Rover dives in and paddles after you. Sounds great except for one thing: Are you sure your dog can actually swim?

Some pups don’t instinctively paddle, and physical traits of some breeds limit their ability to tread water and float. Pugs, who can have trouble breathing, shouldn’t be presumed to be natural swimmers. Bulldogs have been knows to just sink, because of the densely compact bodies they’re prized for. Beyond that, some dogs just freeze when faced with the unknown. The point is, if you don’t know, you don’t just throw him im.

If your pooch is nervous around the pool, he can learn to swim. Doggie swim schools offer classes in the range of $50 to $70 for roughly a half hour lesson. And dozens have sprung up across the country in recent years. Enroll him.

Or, if you decide to gently teach your dog yourself, follow these rules to keep the swimming lessons safe and fun:


Forcing an unwilling dog to swim is just as dangerous as forcing a child. They’ll panic, experts say. So help him by easing him in calmly.


Even if your pal is wearing a flotation device, it’s always best to support his midsection and hindquarters until he’s relaxed and paddling. Then you can let go.


If you’ve led him gently down the steps, remember to walk him through reaching them again to exit. It’s like any new environment; he needs to know how to return to a safe place.


That way you cut down distractions. Keeping calm is a huge part of staying focused on the training lesson, just like it is on land.


A good swimmer may leap into a large body of water- like a lake- and swim until he’s lost. Dogs wander, so watch him,


Invest in a personal flotation vest.












Like all the brachycephalic breeds, they can experience breathing difficulties: risky in water.


Their densely compact bodies can cause them to sink.


Those stubby legs make them somewhat inadequate paddlers.

Basset Hounds

Dense bone structures and short legs make swimming a challenge. They were bred for land activities.


They paddle just fine, but prolonged exposure to wetness and cold can give them chills and arthritis.

Breed in the Spotlight-Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever

Monday, July 14th, 2014

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Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever

The Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever looks somewhat like a small Golden Retriever. It is a well-muscled dog that is medium to heavy boned. It has a deep chest that is well-insulated for swimming in cold water. The coat is dense, and comes in various shades of red and orange. It usually has small white markings on the feet, chest, tail tip and sometimes face. It may have a slight wave on its back, but the coat is otherwise straight. The ears are triangular and set high and are well back from the skull. The head is clean-cut and slightly wedge-shaped. The powerful, compact, well-muscled body is on sturdy, solid legs.

Sensible and very devoted to its family. These dogs are intelligent, easy to obedience train and good with children. They make great companion dogs as long as they get enough exercise to fulfill their energetic needs. Tollers may be a bit more reserved around strangers than the Golden Retriever; socialize them well. The same charming way this water dog has with his game, he demonstrates with his owner. He is hard-working and clever, and enjoys being with his master. His expression may seem low-spirited, but once in the hunt he is the happy hunter. The Toller’s strong retrieving desire and playfulness are natural traits, both necessary for his tolling ability. Tolling (luring) is a natural trait (like pointing) and cannot be taught. They have an intense natural excitement about their duty. Young dogs need to practice; training sessions involve establishing a close relationship and having children throw things for them to retrieve. Some owners say the Toller is a retrieving fool. They love retrieving games! These are excellent family pets which get on well with other dogs and animals. They are very patient with children. They bark when there is danger but that is likely to be all. They need owners who know how to properly communicate authority over them.


The Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever originates from Canada. Tolling Red Decoy Dogs probably accompanied their masters from Great Britain to Nova Scotia. They were crossed with retrievers and working spaniels. It was developed to toll (lure) ducks in the manner of the fox. The clever manner in which foxes work together to obtain a duck dinner has been observed over the centuries. The Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever is the creation of skillful Canadian hunters. The Toller’s rather unusual job is to lure ducks and geese within shotgun range, and to retrieve them from the water after they have been hit. From his concealed blind near the shore, the hunter tosses a stick parallel to the shore, and with great liveliness, but without barking, the Toller retrieves it. It may take a dozen or more throws before the ducks or geese become curious and approach the shore. When the overly inquisitive ducks are within shooting range, the hunter calls his dog back to the blind, stands up to put the birds to flight, and shoots. The Toller then acts as an efficient retriever. Indians utilized this mesmerizing practice by stringing a fox skin across a length of shore and yanking it quickly back and forth, simulating the movement of the fox. The breed used to be called the Little River Duck Dog or Yarmouth Toller, but when the Canadian Kennel Club began registering it in the late 1950s, the present name was established. FCI gave it full international recognition in 1982. There are a fair number of Tollers and breed specialty clubs in the USA. The Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever was first recognized by the AKC in 2003.



Ringworm in Dogs

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

dog running - morguefile




Dermatophytosis in Dogs

Dermatophytosis is the medical term for a parasitic fungal infection that affects the skin, hair, and/or nails (claws). The most commonly isolated fungal organisms are Microsporum canis (more commonly referred to as ringworm), Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and Microsporum gypseum. This disease occurs in dogs, cats, and other mammals. It is diagnosed more commonly in young animals than in old.

The condition or disease described in this medical article can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how this disease affects cats please visit this page in the PetMD health library.

Symptoms and Types

Symptoms of dermatophytosis include accumulations of surface skin cells, such as seen in dandruff (scales); poor hair coat; reddened skin (erythema); darkened skin (hyperpigmentation); itchiness (pruritus); and hair loss (alopecia), which may be patchy or circular. Other indications of dermatophytosis that are readily apparent on the skin are raised, rounded, knotty (nodular) lesions known as granulomatous lesions, or boils, and raised nodular lesions that frequently ooze (kerions), the result of ringworm infection. There may also be inflammation of the claw folds — the folds of skin bordering the nail, and medically referred to as paronychia.

Occasionally, dogs are classified as inapparent carriers — harboring the disease-causing fungus, but presenting no visible signs of the condition. However, even these dogs are contagious to humans and other animals.


Dogs most commonly develop dermatophytosis because of infections with the fungi Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum, and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. The incidence of each fungus varies according to your geographical location.

Diseases or medications that decrease the body’s ability to develop a normal immune response (known as immunocompromising diseases, or immunosuppressive medications, respectively) can increase the likelihood that your dog will be susceptible to a fungal infection of the skin, hair, and/or nails, as well as increase the potential for a more severe infection. Environments that are densely populated with animals (for example, in an animal shelter or kennel), or where there is poor nutrition, poor management practices, and lack of adequate quarantine period, will also increase risk of infection.


Your veterinarian will perform a fungal culture of skin clippings, a microscopic examination of a sample of hair, and possibly a skin biopsy.


Most dogs can be treated on an outpatient basis, but quarantine procedures should be considered due to the infective and zoonotic (transmittable to humans) nature of some types of dermatophytosis. If your veterinarian needs to prescribe antifungal medications, the use of an Elizabethan collar (a wide collar placed around the neck) is recommended to prevent ingestion of antifungal medications applied to the dog’s skin.

Living and Management

A fungal culture is the only means of truly monitoring your dog’s response to treatment. Many animals will improve clinically, but remain fungal culture positive. It is advisable to repeat fungal cultures toward the end of treatment, and continue treatment until at least one culture result is negative. In resistant cases, fungal cultures may be repeated on a weekly basis, and treatment continued until two to three consecutive negative results are obtained. Complete blood counts should be performed weekly or biweekly for animals receiving griseofulvin, an anti-fungous antibiotic. Also, blood work to monitor the liver may be indicated for dogs receiving ketoconazole or itraconazole, two types of anti-fungal medications.


To prevent reinfection from other animals, the use of a quarantine period, and fungal (dermatophyte) cultures of all animals living in the household are necessary. Treatment of exposed animals should be considered to prevent repeated development of infection. The possibility of rodents aiding in the spread of the disease should be considered. If you suspect that your dog has access to rodents, or that rodents are in your immediate environment, it is highly advised that you take the necessary steps to eliminate the pests.


SOURCE: Veterinary Team Brief

Bob’s Journals Continued…

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014


Oh! Geez! Here we goooooo…. Bob is still sick with the coughing, sneezing, snorting, and blowing snot everywhere. Too vivid? You should be here to see and hear it. I had to make a second trip to the vet because he had gotten worse. Again it was confirmed that he has Rhinitis, but now has asthma on top of that. Dr. Kesseru took a look at his nostrils and said (paraphrased), Yuck! There it is…It was a good sized buggar. It was Dr. Kesseru’s thought that it is the litter (which confirmed what I was thinking), so (after much research) I changed it to a litter that is made from wheat. Both me and Bob should benefit from the change.

Well, Bob has to be given, in liquid form, a steroid, and an antibiotic. I cannot express the joy that I had in knowing that I had to do this TO BOB on a daily basis. The battle is on. Again I have battle wounds…but I figured it out. A towel is my secret weapon, along with a harness and leash so that I could pull him out, from where he hides, and grasp him. I got the harness on Bob at the vet’s office. I remembered that the nurse had him wrapped in a towel when she brought Bob back to me after his exam, x-ray, and blood work. Voila! I wrapped him up so tight that the only thing he could do is scratch himself. OH….then there are his teeth  and getting him to open wide (HA!) while I insert the syringes filled with medication. Well, I won’t go into that.

What a fete! However, the battle went better today than it did yesterday.

I got more of the medicine in him today than in the previous days. And, oh! The vet stated that cats do not like the taste of the steroid medication. I checked it out and YUCK! I can understand why they do not like it. YUCKIE, YUCK! Both Bob and I will benefit from the change of litter type.

Bob ate all of his food last night. He had not, really, eaten since Monday. I was happy to see his bowl empty. He had even refused to eat his snacks. A co-worker at summer camp gave me treats to give him after our battles. Thank you Betty: from Bob.

I have several more days to go. Please be sure to contact me if any of my readers would like to take my place in giving Bob his medication. Nah! Bob and I are bonding. I am letting him know that I am the alpha feline in the house, I think.

In thinking about the Bob battles, from the time I started this writing, I think about the battles that we fight on a daily basis. We often need to be reminded who our Alpha and Omega is and that He has already won the battle for us. We fight the enemy tooth and nail and wear our battle wounds proudly when we should be displaying that we are victors over every circumstance in Christ despite ourselves and the obstacle courses that we go through. Though it may not seem so during the times that we are going through trials we are over-comers in Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord.

The children of Israel did not see a resolution to the problem that troops were at their heals to kill them. But God already had the solution planned. The Israelites crossed over the sea on dry land. Moses sang (Ex. 15:1-2 NIV) “I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted. The Horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.” Are we licking our wounds in frustration of what the enemy has done or are we reflecting that a victorious God will bring us through because of the wounds that His son, Jesus, bore for us.

I am home from my afternoon shift at summer camp. Bob had been hiding from me since Monday. Guess what! Bob met me at the door. He walked into the kitchen and looked at me and his food dish. I got the hint. Bob quickly pounced on his bowl of food. He was a little skittish, but he is improving by the minute. Bob has been out and about since my arrival home (dragging his leash behind him) . I think that he senses that I won’t try anything at night, since I have been giving him his medication between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. It seems that every time we tussle he gets closer. Hmmmm.

Good night all.

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