Why has my veterinarian been SO busy?

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The Mystery of Distemper

While the world is waking from a global pandemic, there is one thing that many animal hospitals have noticed, people are getting puppies! Having your pet properly vaccinated is a major aspect in new puppy care. Just like human babies, puppies get a series of vaccines and will visit the doctor multiple times in that first year. One vaccine that families will learn about in particular is the distemper vaccine. Let’s take a peek at the what and when of the canine distemper vaccine and how prevention is a key component in keeping our pets safe.

What actually is distemper??

Distemper is an extremely contagious virus that can be found anywhere in the world. The virus can be transmitted to many mammals, most commonly dogs, raccoons, skunks and foxes. Distemper displays a large range of symptoms. Many times people often mistake the virus for other diseases. Typical symptoms may include:

  • Nasal discharge
  • Eye discharge
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

There are times that severe cases can cause neurological issues, due to swelling of the brain. This may cause a reaction of the animal looking dizzy or having loss of balance.

How is distemper transmitted??

Medical and Preventative Health

Distemper is transmitted through any bodily secretions, such as urine or saliva. Most commonly animals spread the virus through coughing. Dogs can also get distemper from the mothers placenta, airborne exposure, or an object that has infected secretions on it.

What is the best way to protect our dogs?

We vaccinate! The canine distemper vaccine is the first vaccine series puppies will receive in it’s young life. It is also a vaccine that will be commonly administered to your pet throughout its lifetime. Considering the most vulnerable pets are those who have weakened immune systems, such as older dogs and puppies, it is important that all dogs are vaccinated.

When is the best time to vaccinate?

South Town Animal Hospital begins to vaccinate at 8 weeks. Then proceeds to vaccinate at 12 and 16 weeks. This is due to the fact that the mothers protective antibodies drop at 8 weeks then the vaccines boost the immunity each month until 16 weeks when the pup has had enough protection against the disease. Your pet is then vaccinated periodically throughout its adult life to ensure boosted immunity to the virus.

You can be reassured that we use the best, high quality vaccines. Our doctors are highly trained in recognizing and treating this virus. If you have any questions or concerns about distemper, please don’t hesitate to contact the office at 847-695-7387 or email us at reception@southtownanimalhospital.com.

South Town Animal Hospital is a place where we strive to achieve healthier and happier lives for the furry ones we love. We are here is you need us.

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Celebrate Those Pearly Whites!

It’s National Dental Month! Save Big!

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2021 Covid-19 Update

South Town Animal Hospital remains steadfast with providing a safe environment for both our clients and staff.  In continuing with our curbside service:

  • Please wait in your car when you arrive for your pet’s scheduled appointment. Upon arrival, call us to let us know you are here. Over the phone you will speak with a technician to get a thorough history of your pet. Then a technician will come outdoors in a mask and gloves to bring your pet inside for an exam or services. 
  • Once the doctor has seen your pet, we will call you to discuss the exam findings and treatment care plan.  We will also take care of payment over the phone.
  • The technician will then return your pet to your car along with any medications necessary.
  • This protocol is also being used to pick up medications and prescription diets.  Call us ahead of time and we will take care of everything over the phone.

We appreciate your patience and consideration. South Town Animal Hospital will continue to observe a strict disinfecting regimen while respecting the social distancing measures put into place.  Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

We want to reassure your pet is entering a clean and healthy environment. Our team is diligent with hand hygiene and disinfects our practice regularly throughout the day. We strive to do our best to exercise preventive health for our patients.

If you haven’t already, please consider using our online pharmacy. You can have items shipped directly to you.  Just visit southtownanimalhospital.com and click on the “Pharmacy Online” tab. Also, throughout each month there are emailed discounts for great deals in addition to discount offers on our online store.

Please note – we are currently not accepting donated items of any sort, including medications, blankets, or pet food.  We appreciate your generosity, but this is an attempt to reduce the items that pass through the hospital.

If you are feeling sick or someone in your household is ill please stay home. Per the CDC “If you are feeling sick, we ask you to please reschedule your appointment or ask someone else to bring your pet in for you.  This is especially true if you have a fever, cough, sneezing, shortness of breath, or if you have been out of the country within the last 14 days to an area infected by COVID-19. There is a social distancing recommendation to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others. We are doing our best to be a touch free zone.

We appreciate your kindness and your business. Together, we can work towards ‘Healthy and Longer Lives’ for all pets and families.

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Covid-19 Action Plan Update

South Town Animal Hospital Covid-19 Action Plan Update

Considering that the coronavirus pandemic has been an ongoing, ever changing situation, at South Town Animal Hospital we are doing our best with keeping our clients, patients, and staff as safe as possible. 

During this time we understand that life situations may be extremely difficult.  Our staff knows that when it comes to the end of life for your pet, that can make a difficult time even more strenuous.  Considering that euthanasia is an emotional event South Town Animal Hospital has revised our protocol to allow clients in the hospital with their beloved pets for euthanasia appointments only

What to expect if this service needs to be provided:

  •  When you arrive in the hospital’s parking lot, please call the South Town Team.  If you receive a busy signal, please wait a moment and try again.
  • A customer service representative will discuss with you your cremation wishes which will be proceeded with payment over the phone.
  • Next a technician will come to your car and help you and your pet into the building to a quiet room.  We ask that you please keep the maximum amount of people to two adults.  We ask that you do not bring children. All adults must be wearing a mask at all times.
  • After the procedure and you are ready we will walk you out to your vehicle.

We ask that you do your best to keep the 6 foot social distancing rule in mind.  If you or anyone in your household are or have been showing signs or symptoms of the virus, please refrain from coming to the office.  This also holds true if you feel that you may have been exposed to someone who has Covid-19.   Our goal is to prioritize safety, while providing the highest level of care that can be available to you and your pet.  We are here for you and your family. We ask that you please have patience with us during these difficult times. Please contact South Town Animal Hospital if you have any further questions. 

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Covid-19 and Pets

2020 has taken the world by surprise.  Covid-19 has stormed through our lives and uprooted the ways that we were once accustomed to.   The pandemic has caused individuals and families to have extreme concerns due to the fact that we are facing something that we don’t quite yet understand.  Just how will the virus impact ourselves, each other, or even our pets? 

Although we don’t know much yet and information is fluid and ever changing.  South Town Animal Hospital wanted to share what we know so far, to hopefully provide some ease to your concerns for your pets.   Here’s what we do know.

On April 5th 2020 the USDA reported the first confirmed animal case in the United States of SARS-CoV-2. Tigers at a zoo in New York were found to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 after showing respiratory symptoms for several days.  The cats were in contact with an employee that had been tested positive with the virus.  The tigers are expected to recover and the other animals at the zoo have shown no signs or symptoms.

On April 22nd 2020 the USDA sent out a press release that confirmed two positive cases of SARS-CoV-2 in companion cats were found in New York, not from the same region.  Both domestic cats came from families where there were members that were tested positive. Clinical signs were symptoms of mild respiratory illness.   

Per the USDA and the CDC it is found that the virus can be transmitted from humans to animals in certain cases.  The information that has been collected thus far has not indicated that the virus can be spread from animals to humans.  It was reported that cats in particular have a similar enzyme to humans which the SARS-CoV-2 virus attaches to.

There has been one dog that tested positive for the virus in the United States.   The pet showed symptoms of a cough.  The reason for testing the dog was that the family members were positive with Covid-19. The dog is currently doing well.

Public officials are not recommending that veterinarians routinely test pets during this time. The animals that are exposed to members in the household that are sick are those most at risk.  The CDC is recommending the following to keep your pets safe and healthy during this time. 

  1. Keep your pets indoors if possible, including your indoor/outdoor cats.  This way it reduces any exposure.
  2. Walk dogs on a leash away from others and stay away from dog parks and other large social areas.
  3. If you or someone in your household becomes sick, isolate that person from pets. Do not share food or have physical contact with your animal if you are not feeling well. 
  4. If you are sick and must have contact with your animal, wear a mask and use sanitary precautions to protect them.

It is important to know that in this time of uncertainty we are here for you and your pets.  The information on the novel virus is constantly changing and updating as more research is performed.  South Town Animal Hospital is here to keep you safe and informed.  Any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at 847-695-7387 or email us at reception@southtownanimalhospital.com. The health of you and your pets is our top priority.  Stay Safe!

For further information please check the following sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/newsroom/news/sa_by_date/sa-2020/sars-cov-2-animals

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COVID-19 Update

3/27/2020

Due to the recent state mandated “Shelter in Place” order, South Town Animal Hospital has updated its policy and protocols to create a safer environment for our clients and staff.  We will continue to be open for business but have made some necessary changes.

  • Please wait in your car when you arrive for your scheduled appointment.  We are currently no longer allowing clients in the hospital. We are asking that as you arrive in our parking lot, you call us to let us know you are here.  Over the phone you will speak with a technician to get a thorough history of your pet. Then a technician will come outdoors in a mask and gloves to bring your pet inside for an exam or services.  
  • Once the doctor has seen your pet, we will call you to discuss the exam findings and treatment care plan.  We will also take care of payment over the phone.
  • The technician will then return your pet to your car along with any medications necessary.
  • This protocol is also being used to pick up medications and prescription diets.  Call us ahead of time and we will take care of everything over the phone.  

During this time of uncertainty we appreciate your patience and consideration. South Town Animal Hospital will continue to observe a strict disinfecting regimen while respecting the social distancing measures put into place.  Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

3/18/2020

We know many of you have heightened concerns about the COVID-19 virus and we want to let you know that here at  South Town Animal Hospital, you’re entering a clean and healthy environment.

In our office, we are being diligent with maintaining a healthy environment. Our team practices regular hand hygiene, and disinfects our practice regularly throughout the day, with a special focus on public areas such as door handles. We do our best to exercise preventive health for our patients and clients.

Our doors will remain open and our team is here for you and your pet, but we are asking our clients to help us be as proactive as possible during this time to reduce the spreading of the COVID-19.

South Town Animal Hospital is asking that when coming for your appointment, please only have one person over the age of 18 accompany your pet (unless pets require extra assistance). Please leave children at home for their safety.  

If at all possible, if you can pay your invoice over the phone for medications or prescription foods that would be helpful.  At pick up time we can even bring items out to your car for a speedier service! Just give us a call when you pull into the parking lot!

A nice alternative is ordering through our online pharmacy and items will come directly to you.  Just visit southtownanimalhospital.com and click on the “Pharmacy Online” tab. Also, throughout each month, we provide additional email discounts for great deals with our online store.

We are currently not accepting donated items of any sort, including medications, blankets, or pet food.  We appreciate your generosity, but this is an attempt to reduce the items that pass through the hospital.

At this time we are not scheduling any non emergency surgical procedures.  Spays, castrations, declaws, and non-critical lump removal procedures will not be scheduled until further notice.  Dental procedures are scheduled based on the doctors medical evaluation. This is due to the limited sterile supplies that we are currently allowed to order. 

We are limiting our technician appointments.  Nail trims and anal gland expressions are based on a medical necessity.  For the next few weeks if it is not a medical necessity, please refrain from scheduling until April. 

If you are feeling sick or someone in your household is ill please stay home. Per the CDC If you are feeling sick, we ask you to please reschedule your appointment or ask someone else to bring your pet in for you.  This is especially true if you have a fever, cough, sneezing, shortness of breath, or if you have been out of the country within the last 14 days to an area infected by COVID-19. There is a social distancing recommendation to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others. We are doing our best to be a touch free zone.

You may also notice other changes in the hospital like staff taking extra time to sanitized and being checked out in the room. This is only to limit the social interactions for safety precautions. We appreciate your kindness and your business. Together, we can work towards ‘Healthy and Longer Lives’ for all pets and families.

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What Can You Get from Your Pet?

Puppy

People and pets love to share. We tend to share snacks, the couch, and even the bed with our pets. Did you know that there are some diseases and parasites that pets can share with people? There are many diseases that pets can acquire that are called zoonotic. Zoonotic disease or zoonoses are terms that are used to describe a disease or parasite that can be transmitted from an animal to a human. Many discussions that we have with pet owners in the office are about what you can get from your pet. Lets dig in to a few afflictions that can commonly be transmitted from pet to human but easily avoided with proper knowledge and preventative medicine.

Ringworm- Is a common fungus that is spread from skin to skin contact or contact with contaminated surfaces. Ringworm is not an actual worm. It appears as a circular lesion on the skin. Ringworm can infect dogs or cats and may be spread to humans. Prevention is cleanliness. It is important to keep bedding cleaned regularly. Also making sure to clean hair out of brushes, and vacuuming regularly are all good environmental practices to reduce the spreading and shedding of the fungus.


Leptospirosis-Is a bacterial infection that can be passed through urine. Oftentimes it is contracted by wildlife and shed in standing water or soil. Pets and humans can get the disease by coming in contact with the urine of infected animals. This infection can be fatal if left untreated. Symptoms of the disease are fever, vomiting, pain, and lethargy. Treatment is antibiotics and supportive care. Prevention is as easy as a vaccine! Ask the veterinarian about the leptospirosis vaccine. It is a safe and reliable tool to prevent this scary infection.

Rabies- Is a viral disease that affects the brain. Rabies is passed from one mammal to another through saliva. This is typically why when a bite occurs then there is cause for concern. Rabies affects the brain, its symptoms are neurologic. Signs of the disease are staggering, confusion, aggression, and excessive salivation. Considering there is no treatment for rabies, vaccines are critical. Vaccinating your dog and cat is also mandatory by law.

Giardia- Is a microscopic parasite that lives in the gastrointestinal tract. This zoonosis can cause lethargy, dehydration, diarrhea, and vomiting. It is found through soil, food, or water that contains contaminated feces. It is spread via fecal-oral transmission, so it is important that a fecal sample is tested at least annually on both dogs and cats. Treatment involves medications prescribed by the doctor. Making sure your pet has a clean water source is important. Do not allow animals to drink stagnant water if possible. Also using good hygiene practices, like washing hands and picking up feces promptly in the yard.


Intestinal Parasites (Roundworms and Hookworms) – These nasty worms can also be found in the gastrointestinal tract, causing vomiting and diarrhea. Like giardia, they also can be transmitted through fecal-oral transmission. It is possible to contract roundworms or hookworms if your pets like to give you kisses. These are actual worms that can easily be identified in a stool sample sent to the lab. Luckily enough, prevention is as easy as heartworm medication. Your pets monthly heartworm medication has a deworming component that can get rid of these pesky critters. That is why it is so important to keep up with your monthly prevention!

These are only a few of the more common zoonotic diseases that can be found in companion animals. Annual exams, good hygiene and preventive medicine keep our pets and ourselves safe from transmitting any of these ailments. If you have any questions or concerns about zoonotic diseases give us a call at 847-6956-7387 or email us at reception@southtownanimalhospital.com. The safety of our families is the utmost priority to our hospital. Sharling with your pet is a wonderful, bonding experience. Just not sharing all things like diseases and parasites.

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Important News on Cat Oral Health Care

With February being National Dental Month, the main topic at South Town Animal Hospital is dental care and prevention.  We are confident that many pet owners today understand the importance of oral care and how greatly it affects the overall health of their pets.  However, there can be incidences where the severity of dental disease is not as obvious to a pet owner, particularly when it comes to our feline friends.  This may be due to the fact that it is very difficult to brush a cat’s teeth. Also, it is not typical that feline pet owners are making proactive oral health care appointments. The best medicine we can provide at South Town Animal Hospital is to help your pet(s) avoid dental disease through prevention and routine checkups. Did you know that cats have a higher likelihood of developing oral health issues earlier in life than dogs do? Well, read on to find out more about important information regarding feline dental issues.

  • Periodontal Disease – Periodontal disease is no joke.  Cats can start to develop this condition at three years of age and at times even younger if they are genetically predisposed to it. Periodontal disease is a serious gum infection that causes gum damage and inflammation which results in weakening the bones in the jawline.  The main cause of periodontal disease is plaque buildup over time. Considering cats are not big chewers and that daily oral hygiene was unlikely, plaque buildup happened rapidly causing this very painful disease.
  • Stomatitis – Stomatitis is an immune mediated reaction from a plaque build up on the teeth, causing severe pain, redness, and inflammation of the oral cavity.  This excruciating condition can lead to many issues compromising the quality of a cat’s life, including the inability to continue to eat. Other symptoms include drooling, hiding, growling at food, decreased grooming and weight loss.  Stomatitis is common in immunocompromised cats, such as felines with FIV or Felv, but this disease can even be found in healthy cats as well.
  • Tooth Resorption – Feline tooth resorption or resorption lesions is another very common dental condition that we see in cats.  This condition is where the body essentially erodes the hard part of the tooth from the inside out. Eventually this condition left untreated leads to exposing the pulp and root of the tooth.  Tooth resorption often can go unnoticed at the initial onset of the disease. Many times the only way to diagnose is with dental radiographs done at the time of dental surgery. Once the diagnosis has been made, a tooth extraction is necessary to relieve the situation.  Unfortunately with this disease, there is no known cause as to why over 30% of cats get tooth resorption. 

Periodontal disease, stomatitis, and tooth resorption are just a few of the conditions that are commonly found in our feline friends. For most dental diseases prevention is the best care and this starts at home with dental supplements, chews, or water additives. In combination, regular checkups, routine dental care and at home dental treatments can greatly reduce the prevalence of dental diseases affecting our pets. During your pet’s routine veterinary visit, the veterinarian will examine your pet’s mouth and look for plaque buildup, lesions, loose teeth, and other abnormalities that might signify issues. With some issues a dental procedure would be recommended as the best way to provide care, followed up with an at home oral hygiene care plan to prolong the effectiveness.

Talk to the veterinarians or staff at South Town Animal Hospital today about good oral health practices.  Oral health care can be vital to the longevity of life and overall well being in our feline friends. South Town Animal Hospital is ready to answer any questions or concerns that may arise about dental healthcare.

Please feel free to send us an email at reception@southtownanimalhospital.com or call us at 847-695-7387.  At South Town Animal Hospital we believe that the heart of the matter is healthy pets, longer lives. 

     

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Managing Your Cats Stress when Traveling to the Veterinarian Office

The feline species is often misunderstood.  Their character can be silly and fun loving, but often times a mystery, especially when they are put in stressful situations. Considering cats can be hard to read and possibly even unpredictable, many people hold off on taking their cats to the veterinarian, even when it becomes a necessity. Due to the stress of getting cats in a carrier, driving them in a car, and taking them to an unknown place, cats often become stressed from the situation.  

Annual exams are important because a doctor can diagnose and treat issues before they become extreme problems.  Sadly, most cats only visit the doctor when they become very sick or injured. To become more proactive in your cat’s healthcare, and reduce stress for all our feline friends, South Town Animal Hospital wants to offer some suggestions to help make the trip a little easier for your cats next venture to the doctors office.  

  • Plan Ahead

Start planning ahead a few days before your actual appointment. Limit the rooms or area your pet has access to in your home. This will make life much easier to find your cat when it is time to go.  Cats are masters of hiding, the less small tight areas your pet has to hide, the better. Close bedroom doors to prevent your cat from hiding in the closet or under the bed.

  • Prepare Your Cat Carrier

Next, make sure you have a good carrier for your cat to travel in.  A small carrier is the preferred method of feline travel. Small, plastic carriers keep cats contained safely when outdoors or in the car. Cats are fight or flight creatures. Carriers reduce the risk of cats getting spooked and fleeing the scene.  It also protects them from interacting with something that they are unfamiliar with.

  • Make the Carrier a Friendly Place 

It is recommended to put the carrier out days before the actual event.  This way on appointment day taking the carrier out does not frighten Fluffy away.  Conditioning your cat to be comfortable with a carrier instead of associating it with a stressful event is key to success. Also placing a blanket and treats in the carrier to make it as friendly as possible can be consoling. In addition, placing a towel over the carrier to make it dark can reduce stress. Cats are primarily nocturnal, and find great comfort and peace in darker spaces. 

  • Use Proper Loading Techniques

Make sure your carrier has proper air flow and is functional before your visit.  Carriers typically have doors on the front. Some have doors on the front and top for easier loading purposes. If your carrier only has a front door, and you are having troubles putting your cat in the carrier, tipping the carrier horizontally with the door facing up and loading your cat rear end first is often helpful when you have a resistant cat. 

  • Apply a Calming Spray

There are times when you need a little extra something to help calm your kitty for the trip.  Feliway is a highly recommended product that can assist. Feliway is a feline facial pheromone spray that is used to calm cats in times of stress. When a cat rubs his face against furniture or items in their environment they are actually releasing pheromones to signify that this is a safe territory.  Feliway was created to mimic this pheromone. When sprayed it induces a calming effect for our cats. 

Feliway is not to be sprayed directly on your cat, but can be used on the carrier, or in the car for travel. It is virtually odorless, so to spray it in your cars interior is a great idea.  You can also spray it on the blanket or towel that you place in the carrier. For more questions on this product or to purchase contact South Town Animal Hospital.

  • Please call us if any questions

South Town Animal Hospital knows that getting your kitty to the doctor can be challenging.  We understand. Hopefully these few tips will help the journey, and of course if you have any questions call or contact us at reception@southtownanimalhospital.com or (847)695-7387. We believe in healthy pets, longer lives and our staff can help your furry loved ones visit to be as painless and stress-free as possible. 

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Get to Know Our Doctors

Dr Denise Crittenden

Dr Deborah Groth

Dr Sheri Cody

Our Services

Whole Health Care

Our preventative medicine approach is as unique as your pet.

Surgery & Procedures

We offer a range of soft tissue surgeries from routine to more advanced.

Diagnostic Testing

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House Calls

We offer medical services in your home including in-home euthanasia.

Vet2Pet App

Download South Town Animal Hospital’s App by visiting Google Play or the App Store.

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