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Is Your Veterinarian a Cowboy?

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african wild dog

    Was that an African Wild Dog…??

No silly that’s Market Street Animal Clinic, a single doctor Veterinary Practice.
Is the single doctor practice an endangered species…? In both human and veterinary medicine this does appear to be the case. What does the steady decline of these practitioner owned offices to larger and even corporate owned groups mean? Is this leading to better care? More affordable care? Where have all the Cowboys gone?

Is bigger better?

    At Market Street Animal Clinic we believe maintaining our intimate size allows us to pack a better punch for our community, our patients and their families. Also and very importantly we like to think we can have a better impact for our team. Our practice can maintain a quality work life so that our team is energized with compassion at all times. We know that different practice philosophies work for different teams, patients and families. Veterinarians like family doctors can set a tone for our experience.
    It is important to Dr. Katie that she writes and reviews all of her own medical records. This keeps her connected to her patients thus leading to more thorough care. We do not cut and paste. Additionally, we review and discuss every outside record or report that comes in to our clinic. This includes records that accompany new patients, records that come from having been to a specialist or visiting the emergency room.

    Family Picture
    Yep a real life cowboy!

Dr. Katie is proud to be the mother of two beautiful girls and a devoted wife and daughter. She chose to relocate to Leesburg 7 years ago when she took over Market Street Animal Clinic to be near her parents. Her family values are a part of what sets her apart as a business owner and a veterinarian. The gifts that Dr. Katie brings to Market Street will sometimes mean she has to take time off at the last minute. We are sure many of you have experienced the need to re-schedule appointments or make last minute cancellations… we are always happy to accommodate busy schedules! On the occasion that Dr. Katie is out of the office unexpectedly we are grateful for your support and understanding.

What can you expect?

    Market Street Animal Clinic works to maintain a stress free and relaxing environment for our patients and their families. We offer texting service for those who prefer to wait outside or come directly in to the exam room. We offer special snacks for your pets to keep their minds occupied with cheese and other delicious treats during the visit. Market Street is an open environment – our little yellow house is your house. Anywhere you and your pet are comfortable is where we will be. We use special cleaning tools and pheromones to make our environment as pet friendly and fear free as possible. Dr. Katie and our team practice forward thinking medicine and patient care tempering experience with continuing education to provide modeled veterinary care.

Turkey Day Tips For Pets!

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Are you gearing up for a big Thanksgiving celebration with your family and friends? Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to your pets and Thanksgiving:

1. It’s fine to let your dog join in on the Thanksgiving festivities with a small piece or two of turkey, but be sure that it is boneless, skinless white meat that is thoroughly cooked! Poultry bones can easily become lodged in your pets gastrointestinal track and fatty pieces of meat or skin can cause GI irritation.

2. Keep the raw dough out of Fido’s reach! The body heat of your pet can activate the yeast and make it rise in their stomach, which can very quickly lead to a medical emergency requiring surgery.

3. Stash the trash! We all know dogs and cats love to paw through the trash to see what goodies they can find. Be sure to safely dispose of food wrappers and containers.

4. With guests entering your home all day, it’s a great time to ensure that your pet is microchipped and the information is up to date! If Whiskers dashes out the door as Aunt Peggy comes inside, you want to be able to find her as quickly as possible.

We hope these tips help you and your pets have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Pets

Senior Pet Care Program is Here!

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Dear Clients,
We would like to let you know about an exciting new program that will debut this August.

In our ongoing effort to provide the highest level of care for your furry family members we have initiated a new program for our senior pets.

The program incorporates a series of services which are intended to screen our older pets for common illnesses associated with aging. The hope is that our older pets will have not only enjoy a longer life but will spend their golden years in increased comfort. Our Senior Care Program begins with a comprehensive nose to tail physical exam. Areas of concentration include the eyes, skin, ears, neurologic and orthopedic exam to evaluate if your pet is showing signs of arthritis and to what degree and other age-related changes.

The program then goes one step further to evaluate how your pet is doing on the inside. How can we evaluate this? We use a combination of blood work, urinalysis and radiographs (x-rays). We will also evaluate your pet’s blood pressure, which, if allowed to get too high can cause sudden blindness.

Our doctors will sit down with you to review the results of the exam and diagnostics and then work with you to establish a custom plan based on your pets needs.

Interested in enrolling your pet in the program? Please contact us at (703) 777-6661.

Toxic and dangerous foods for pets

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If you ever have a question regarding the health of your pet, call us at 703 777 6661. If your question is general in nature feel free to contact us at and determine if an appointment is appropriate for the situation. We are located in historic downtown Leesburg at 210 East Market Street.

Pets and poison is a growing concern among pet owners. Household poisons are not the only thing that can harm your pets. Many common household foods and drugs can also be toxic to your pets. The following are foods that can be toxic or poisonous to your pets.

Avocados contain a toxin known as persin. Persin is found in various parts of the avocado and avocado trees (eg, leaves, rind, etc). This toxin is known mostly to cause vomiting and diarrhea. Birds and small pets seem most affected by the negative side effects of consuming avocado.

Not just beer…all alcohol. Depending on how much alcohol your animal ingests, it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, depression, difficulty breathing, coma, and possible death.

Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine that is toxic to pets. If enough is ingested, your animal can suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures, and possible death. Cocoa mulch contains theobromine; the ASPCA advises dog owners to avoid using this fertilizer around unsupervised dogs, and dogs with indiscriminate eating habits since it can be toxic if ingested.

Chocolate is the most common candy that is toxic to pets, especially to dogs, cats and ferrets. Any candy containing the sweetener xylitol can also be toxic to pets.

Caffeine is generally highly toxic to pets, having negative effects on both the cardiac and nervous systems. Side effects can include vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures, and possible death.

Grapes and raisins
An unknown toxin in grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure and ultimately lead to death. Symptoms of this poisoning can include hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, and irregular heartbeat.

An unknown toxin in nuts can have negative effects on the nervous, digestive, and muscular systems of your pet. Symptoms can include muscle tremors, weakness, an upset stomach, vomiting, depression, inactivity, and stiffness. Particularly avoid Macadamia nuts.

Onions, along with garlic and chives, are all part of the same species of plant—the Allium species. Allium species plants contain sulfur compounds that can cause stomach irritation and possibly result in damage to red blood cells causing anemia. This is referred to as Allium poisoning.

Some human medicines
While some human medications are prescribed for pets by veterinarians, others can be highly toxic and fatal. Acetaminophen, which is contained in Tylenol and other similar products, for example, can be fatal to cats. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving human medication to a pet.

Xylitol (artificial sugar)
Xylitol is a sweetener used in many products including mouthwash, chewing gum, toothpaste, and various foods. Because it is toxic to pets, products containing xylitol should not be given to your dog or cat.

Lilly Plants
All portions of the lilly plant are poisonous to cats when ingested. Just a nibble of the leaf, petal or stem can cause irreversible kidney failure despite extensive medical treatment.

Other foods that can be toxic to your pet:
Apple Seeds
Chives (see “onions,” above)
Fruit pits, especially those of apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines, and cherries
Garlic (see “onions” above)
Moldy foods
Mustard seeds
Potato leaves and stems
Rhubarb leaves
Tomato leaves and stems

Toxic Household Items:
Liquid potpourri
PolyUrethane glue
Pine-oil cleaners

The top pet poisoning claims in 2008, according to pet health insurance company VPI:

Lily flowers
Sago Palm
Macadamia nuts
Azalea flowers
Hydrangea flowers

For poison-related emergencies, call the Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

How Smart Is Your Dog? Find Out with ‘Dognition’

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An interesting idea that we wanted to pass along to you all. Have some free time and some money burning a hole in your pocket? Put your dog to the test! If you do, share your experience with us at Market Street Animal Clinic.

A dog scooting butt-down across the carpet may not seem like the clever animal that comes closest to human babies in communication skills. But a Web app aims to build on the discovery by enabling thousands of dog owners to record the results of playful experiments with their canine companions.

The “Dognition” project could revolutionize scientific understanding of dogs by gathering data from man’s best friends all over the world. Such an effort would help answer broad questions such as whether different dog breeds really have different levels of intelligence — even as dog owners gain new appreciation of their beloved pets’ individual personalities.

“In a weekend, we could have 10,000, maybe 50,000 people give data,” said Brian Hare, associate professor in evolutionary anthropology at Duke University and director of Duke’s Canine Cognition Center. “I can’t even say how big of a quantum leap this will be.”

Dogs are “absolutely vapid” in many forms of intelligence compared to chimpanzees or bonobos, who have closer genetic relationships to humans, Hare explained. But dogs excel in understanding the human intent to communicate — the same skill that has proved crucial for human babies in developing language and culture. By learning more about dogs, humans can learn more about themselves.

Putting Fido to the test

As a tool for better understanding dogs, the Dognition Web app was launched today (Feb. 5) to coincide with a new book titled “The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs are Smarter Than You Think” (Dutton, 2013). Hare co-authored the book with his wife, Vanessa Woods.

“There are lots of dog books, but there has never been a way for someone to learn about their dog using the same tasks that scientists have developed to study a wide variety of dogs,” Hare told TechNewsDaily.

The $60 Dognition web app starts out by asking dog owners to answer questions about their pets’ behavior. (Some sample questions: “Does Benjy ever ‘intervene’ in an argument between other members of the household?” “When you laugh, does Benjy wag his tail?”

But the meat of the Dognition experience comes from games people can play with their dogs to assess five dimensions of intelligence: empathy, communication, cunning, memory and reasoning. Such games are similar to what Hare used to test dogs at his Duke University lab — dog owners just need plastic cups, treats, several sheets of paper, sticky notes, another human helper and their dogs.

The testing can show “what makes a dog a great companion” by revealing cognitive strengths and weaknesses. That might allow owners to better understand why their dogs behave the way they do.

“Maybe you find out your dog doesn’t have very good memory compared to other dogs,” Hare said. “Or maybe your dog is incredibly wily and is judging when you’re watching them or not. Some dogs know the difference between a person’s eyes being open or closed.”

Must love dog science

Hare became inspired to create Dognition after seeing a parade of dog owners fly in from New York and California to volunteer their dogs for cognitive testing at Duke University in Durham, N.C. When the dog owners would ask about finding out more about the science, Hare used to refer them to scientific papers — a “completely naive response” on his part, Hare admits now.

Dognition’s data will allow scientists to search for the most intriguing behavioral or cognitive patterns and set up lab experiments to confirm the findings. It’s an ideal scenario for how “citizen science” and professional science can work together.

The Web app’s findings could end up sweeping away ideas taken for granted by many dog owners, such as the belief that intelligence can distinguish different dog breeds (“There’s some nice work showing that a lot of what people attribute to their dogs in terms of intelligence is based on their physical characteristics,” Hare said.) Or, if cognitive profiles do exist for certain breeds, scientists could investigate the profiles of mixed breeds.

The Web app’s data could also confirm fascinating ideas raised by small studies, such as the direction of a dog’s hair whorl corresponding to the location of certain mental functions on the left or right side of the brain.

As lifelong dog owner, Hare looks forward to trying out Dognition with his latest dog, a “shelter mutt” named Tasmania. He hopes that the Dognition project could eventually help future dog owners better understand the dogs they adopt down the road.

“When you get the dog from a shelter, wouldn’t it be nice to know what their cognitive profile is?” Hare said. “Not to judge them, but to have a successful relationship.”

You can follow TechNewsDaily Senior Writer Jeremy Hsu on Twitter @jeremyhsu. Follow TechNewsDaily on Twitter @TechNewsDaily, or on Facebook.