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10 Best Pet Costumes

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Need some inspiration for your pet’s costume this Halloween? Look no further! We’ve got 10 adorable pet costumes to get your creative juices flowing.

1. Yoda

yoda pug
While a pug seems the most appropriate breed for this costume, any pooch would look adorable with those big, green ears!

2. Banana

banana dachschund
Such a simple and fun idea! Bonus: Your dog will stick out in a crowd!

3. Martini

german shepherd martini
Is your furry friend currently sporting a cone-of-shame? Might as well make the best of it and accessorize!

4. Chia Pet

chia pet boston terrier
This may be one of the most creative costumes we’ve ever seen! I never had a Chia Pet that looked that cute!

5. Snail

snail cat costume
Now, I can’t see a cat wearing this for long, but really, is it not adorable?!

6. Unicorn

unicorn bull terrier
Magical, mystical, and certainly unique! How great would your little princess look with her trusty unicorn by her side?

7. Poop Factory

poop factory dog costume
Is there really anything to say?

8. Harry Potter

harry potter westie
Where are all my Harry Potter fans at?! We LOVE this Westie’s costume!

9. Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory

willy wonka and oompa loompa costume
There’s nothing cuter than a baby and a dog dressed up together!

10. The Cat In the Hat

cat in the hat costume
This kitty must be strong willed to not be playing with all that yarn!

Already have your pet’s costume planned? We’d love to see it! Post a picture on our Facebook page!

Sudden Death In Cats

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Today we want to discuss a scary and shocking situation Just recently at Market Street, we saw an apparently healthy, young cat was brought in for a routine visit. While preparing for his vaccines he collapsed and in a matter of sixty seconds was gone. 

What are the causes?
In cats, the most common cause of sudden death is heart disease, more specifically, cardiomyopathy. This disease is typically hereditary and develops early in life but can be secondary to other diseases later in life.  Often times this is not detected until after death, on necropsy. Other possible causes of sudden death in cats can be heart worm disease, trauma, toxins, or a urinary blockage.

How would we detect heart disease?
We may see changes in the heart on an x-ray. There is also a blood test that may be useful.  However, the best way to detect this condition is with an echocardiogram, or an ultrasound of the heart. These tests may only be recommended if we hear something on physical exam, if there is the presence of a pre-existing condition, or there is a familial history of heart disease…so many go undetected.


What to look for?
It is not uncommon for cats to show no symptoms however, there are some who will have exercise intolerance, rapid or trouble breathing, a chronic cough, lethargy, or a diminished appetite.  In any case if you have questions or concerns about a behavior or condition in your cat always ask your veterinarian.

Helpful Hints:
Be aware that this type of heart disease can reveal itself as early as 4 months of age. The shock of sudden death in any circumstance is an entire aspect of the loss that we mustn’t ignore.  Finding answers with a necropsy may help us cope with the tragedy. 

How To Tell If You’re Obsessed With Your Pet

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Do you love your pet more than anyone or anything else? Do you find yourself talking to Fido and Mr. Fluffy and waiting for their response? Read on to tell if the love you have for your pet is borderline obsessive.

1. Do you make your partner move over in bed so there’s room for the dog?
Dog Bed vs Human Bed

2. Does your dog get to ride shotgun wherever you go?
dog riding shotgun

3. Is Mr. Fluffy getting more grooming than you?
How my cat look vs how i look

4. And while we’re on the subject of grooming, are you pampering your pet like this?

5. Does your dog eat better than you most days?

6. When you come home from a long day, all you want to do is be held by your cat.

7. If your pet has fallen asleep on you, you don’t dare move for fear of waking them up.

8. Do you whisper all of your secrets to your dog, knowing they’re the only ones who will truly listen?

9. Are all of the photos on your cellphone of your pets?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may be obsessed with your pet. Congratulations! And welcome to the crazy pet owner club!

(But, really, just LOOK at my boy! How could I not be obsessed with him?!)

What Kind Of Pet Should I Get?

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There are so many factors to consider when you are trying to decide what kind of pet you should get (Or if you should get one at all!). There’s cost of adoption, cost of veterinary care, cost of basic needs, personality, energy level, your lifestyle, etc. We’ve got some things to help you decide what kind of pet works best for you!

Does Size Matter? When you are budgeting for your pet expenses, it definitely does!


Some facts:

  • According to the APPA (American Pet Products Association), in 2015, the United States spent 15.7 billion dollars on veterinary care and 23 billion dollars on pet food.
  • According to the ASPCA, there are approximately 150-200 million pets in our homes in the U.S.
  • In 2015, the average cost of a visit to the veterinarian in the U.S. was $235.

Don’t forget about doggy daycare, boarding, and dog walking! The average pet owner spends $333 a year boarding their pet. That’s an average of $50-$100 a night. There’s also the additional cost of doggy daycare and dog walking.

Typical costs for the first year of pet ownership will differ depending on the pet’s age. However, the average cost for a small dog is $1300, the average cost for a medium dog is $1600, the average cost of a large dog is $1850, and the average cost of a cat is $1000.

So, you’re making a budget to see what kind of pet you can afford? Don’t forget about your preventatives! Generally, heartworm prevention for a large dog costs about $100-150 a year and $60-80 a year for a small dog. That’s a 20-25% difference just due to the weight of the pet!! There’s a 5-10% difference with flea and tick prevention. (Side note: Please, do NOT be discouraged by the price of preventatives. It is MUCH cheaper to prevent heartworm disease, tick born diseases, and flea infestations than to treat them! For more information, check out this blog.)

Be sure to consider the cost of routine vet care for your pet. Depending on your lifestyle and your pet, you’ll want to factor in exams, vaccines, and routine blood and fecal screenings. We understand it may seem unnecessary to exam your pet each time you bring them in. But, if your pet has not been seen in a year, 6 months, or 4 months, that’s 3-7 “human” years! Remember the old “How old is that in dog years?” line that people like to say? Turns out, that’s a real thing! Dogs age much more quickly than humans. Each “dog” year equals about 7 “human” years. So if your pet has not been examined in 6 months, lots could have changed with their health! What would your doctor do if you asked for a flu vaccine and had not been seen by him in 3-7 years? At Market Street Animal Clinic, we strive to be transparent in regard to your pet’s health care. This includes the cost of our services and products. We also have to follow federal and state laws that mandate how often we see our patients prior to providing services or prescribing medications. If you are concerned about costs, please feel free to request an estimate from one of our team members.

It can be very helpful to have an emergency fund set up for your pet, as well. Even $100 can make a difference! Picture this: You’ve just returned home from a relaxing two week vacation and you are at the boarding facility to pick up your pet. You take your pet home and the next day, he seems to not be feeling so well. So you bring him in to the vet and it is necessary to run some tests to determine the cause of your pet’s sickness. Nobody wants to deal with this, especially after having just shelled out well over $500 for boarding! Unfortunately, this can be rather common.


If you are thinking of getting a pet, you should also consider your daily lifestyle and your budget before choosing a species and a breed. While you may think Siberian Huskies are beautiful dogs, if you are looking for a pet that just wants to hangout on the couch with you, a Husky may not be the breed for you. If you’re looking for a running buddy, then a Husky may just be your match! That being said, not all dogs and cats follow “breed standards.” Every animal is different, just like we are!

It can be difficult to know where your hard earned dollars are best spent when it comes to your pet.  Between Google, the pet food store, and the commercial on animal planet, there is a lot of information out there! We always recommend you ask your veterinarian for advice before checking with Dr. Google or the clerk at the pet store. A veterinarian is a medically trained professional who will use appropriate research and tools for making recommendations for your pet.

We know (and support!) that everyone has a different approach to pet ownership, as well as different financial and life priorities. We are happy to discuss how you would like to approach the health and wellness care of your pet and we will make our recommendations accordingly.

Boarding Your Pet On Vacation

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So the summer is winding down and you’re trying to squeeze in a last minute vacation, but what do you do with Fido and Whiskers? If you can’t bring them with you, it’s time to find a sitter or boarding facility. There are several factors to consider when deciding on who will care for your pets.


First, consider the age of your pet. If you have a very young cat or dog, you may want to find a boarding facility that has extra activities for your pet. Some boarding facilities offer special walks, hikes, playtime, and other activities for your pet. With especially active dogs or puppies, this may be necessary to help them get their excess energy out. If you have an older pet, it may be best to find a quieter boarding facility or find a pet sitting company to watch them. The excessive noise and commotion of a busy boarding facility may be too stressful for an older pet.


Another factor to consider is how your pet acts around other animals. Some dogs thrive when they are able to run and play with other dogs, while others prefer the company of a human. If your dog prefers humans to canines, you may want to consider contacting a pet sitting company to either watch your dog at your home or for your dog to go to one of the employees’ homes.

Pets with certain medical issues may do best being boarded with your vet, if your vet has that option. If not, be sure to check with your boarding facility to ensure they know how to care for your pet’s particular issue.

Once you’ve decided what sort of boarding facility you would like to take your pet to, you should schedule a time to visit the kennel to see where your pet will be staying. You may want to prepare a list of questions for the staff before you go. You may want to ask what your pet’s schedule will be like (i.e. how often will they be taken out, when are they fed, when do they get to play, etc.), where your pet gets to play, does the facility have cameras so you can check in on your pet, and which vaccinations are required for your pet to board.

Be sure to “shop around” when it comes to kennels to find the perfect fit for you and your pet. Need a recommendation for a local boarding facility in the Leesburg area? Give us a call and we will be happy to help you find a place!


We hope you and your pets enjoy the last few weeks of summer! Have any pictures of your pets enjoying vacation with you? We want to see them! Post them to our Facebook page or tag us in your photo!

The 5 Ridiculous Reactions Your Dog Has to Being Pilled by Dr. Andy Roark

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We’ve all been there, right? Trying to give your dog his medicine but he just won’t take it. It doesn’t matter how much peanut butter you hide it in or if you’ve made his favorite combination of cheese and lunch meat, your dog knows when you’re trying to sneak pills in to him! I’m sure we can all relate to this humorous blog from Dr. Andy Roark’s website. Read it here and enjoy a good laugh.


Freedom, Fireworks, and Furry Friends

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Fire up the grill and inflate your swim floats! It’s time to celebrate the 4th of July! Independence Day is typically a day full of fun, sun, food, and capped off with a terrific firework display. While this holiday can be lots of fun for the humans, many animals can become very anxious and stressed. We’ve got a few tips for you to make this as great of a holiday as possible.


1. Let’s begin with the food portion of the day, shall we? A few table scraps here and there won’t hurt your dog, but there are certain foods you should never give them. Avoid corn cobs, cooked bones of any kind, onions, grapes, and anything too fatty. These can all cause upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, or even a blockage in the pet’s intestines. A couple of small pieces of fully cooked, unseasoned white meat chicken are a great treat!

2. While the fireworks are a beautiful sight, the loud noises can be very stressful for your pets. How can you help ease the stress? Before the fireworks begin, take your dog out for a walk or to the park to play ball. This can help get some of their energy out and help them be more relaxed. A little while before the fireworks start, find a room where you and your pet can hang out. A room with some sort of ambient noise is best. This could be the A/C, a TV, radio, fan, or even a sound machine. If you know your dog has noise related anxiety, you can try a Thundershirt or a similar product. The Thundershirt wraps snugly around the dog, which makes it feel more secure.

3. If you feel your pet has extreme anxiety, give us a call today to schedule an appointment. There are medications that can help, if this is what Dr. Katie and you decide is best for your pet. Is your pet already on anxiety medication? Please make sure you have enough medication to get your pet through! We will close at 2:00pm Saturday, July 2, 2016, and will re-open at 8:00am Tuesday, July 5, 2016.

4. Do not leave your pets outside during parades or firework displays! Even if your dog is not typically afraid of strange or loud noises, it is better to bring them inside and not run the risk of them escaping your yard. Of course, you can take them out to go potty, but be sure they are wearing their collar with easy to read ID tags.

5. Did you know that more dogs go missing on the 4th of July than any other day of the year? It’s true! Animal shelters and animal control are very busy July 5th bringing lost dogs to the shelter. In order to reunite these dogs back with their owners, it is important to make sure your dog’s microchip information is up to date. If your pet is not microchipped, call us today and we can schedule an appointment for your pet to be microchipped. It only takes a few minutes and does not require anesthesia!

6. Do NOT bring your pet to a fireworks display!! The noises, scents, sights, and all the people can be extremely overwhelming and down right terrifying for your pets. Your pet will be much safer at home.

Keep this tips in mind and you and your pet can enjoy a wonderful day full of celebration! Happy Independence Day everyone!


Poop, There It Is!

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What can possibly seem so important about your pets’ poop? Your dog stays in your backyard and your cat stays inside. Is it really necessary to have a fecal test done?

Fecal matters! And we are here to tell you all of the reasons why. Giardia, hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms, coccidia, and even the unusual (but very scary) baylisascaris are among several of the common parasites that we see right here in Leesburg.  Several of these parasites are  contagious and/or zoonotic. (Zoonotic means they can be passed from animals to humans.) While using your monthly heartworm prevention helps protect against some parasites, there are occasionally circumstances in which a parasitic infection can not be helped. When we know what we are dealing with, we can also know what precautions to take at home, how to try to prevent re-infection, and how to protect your family while the infection is treated.  Depending on the age and overall health of our pet, intestinal parasites can begin with mild symptoms that we easily overlook, until not only our own health is at risk, but our pet’s life is in danger. When you consider the cost of treating the infection, the risk to your family, the cost and effort of treating your yard, and the overall worry and stress for you and your pet, the cost of an annual (or semi-annual depending on your lifestyle) fecal test seems minimal.


Of the pets that are tested at Market Street Animal Clinic, we see an average of 10 to 20 pets that are infected with parasites each month.  Of those infected, 11% were cats, 38% are younger than two years of age, and 76% were positive for a zoonotic parasite.We consider it our responsibility to arm you with the knowledge to make informed decisions for your pets’ health and your family’s safety. That being said, as a hospital, we have to control the possibility of spreading infectious diseases within our own walls and grounds. This means we will have requirements when your pet is being admitted to our hospital, even if it’s only for a few hours. If you or anyone you know has ever been admitted to a hospital, we’re sure you can appreciate this.
What are you and your pets’ risks? Discuss it with one of our amazing team members and for more information check out this post from the CDC.Parasites can be anywhere including, but not limited to, the soil in a house plant, the water in a puddle in your yard, the dog park, the floor of the pet store, the grass at the rest area where you travel. This is why the CDC recommends you err on the side of caution. Even if you think you may have a relatively low-risk life style, it is always best to have your pets’ feces checked.
Poop, there it is!

What’s The Harm In Leaving My Pet In The Car?

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Well folks, it’s that time of year again when we want to remind you to NEVER leave your pet in the car unattended! It doesn’t matter if you just need to grab one item from the store or if you think your pet would be happier waiting in the car than waiting at home.


In the summer, cars quickly heat up and can act like an oven. Studies have found that in just 10 minutes, the temperature inside a car can rise by nearly 20 degrees! After 60 minutes, the temperature can increase up to 40 degrees. That means even on a moderately “cool” 70 degree day, the inside of the car can be as hot as 110 degrees!


Cracking the windows does not help. Studies show that the temperature inside a car with its windows cracked are the same or very similar to the temperatures inside a car with its windows rolled completely up. Parking in the shade will not make it acceptable for you to leave your pet in the car either.

Pets can suffer from heatstroke just like people. Heatstroke can lead to organ failure and even death. Leaving your pet in the car can also lead to dehydration, which can cause all kinds of issues in your pet.

We know that you love your pet and want to bring them everywhere with you, but they will be much safer and happier at home than in a hot car. Too many pets die every year due to being left in hot cars. Don’t let your pet be one of them!