Let’s Get Walking!

2023 has finally come around.  It’s a new year and it’s time to turn the page with new habits and resolutions to improve our lives and overall health.  Considering January is National Walk Your Dog Month, what better way to start the year than make it a habit to get outside more and walk your furry four legged friend!  Walks are important for our pets for multiple reasons. Listed below are a few reasons why walking your dog is one of the number one exercises for you and your pet. 

  1. Walking is one of the healthiest exercises for your dog.  Physically it gives them a chance to stretch their legs and burn some calories especially in the winter when pets are getting out less. 
  1. Getting outdoors gives you a chance to spend one on one time together.  Walking together strengthens the bond between you and your pet.  It is a quiet time to get to know your pet better and how your pet behaves in the outside world. 
  1.  Walks are a perfect training opportunity.  Considering all the different and new stimuli that your dog will experience, walking is a great time to fine tune some of those behavioral skills that may need to be worked on.
  1. Not only is walking physically good for your pet, mentally this activity provides numerous benefits for your animal.  Sniffing actually provides stress and anxiety relief.  Dogs get to learn the smells of other pets and animals in the neighborhood.  They can identify what is normal in their surroundings and understand what is routine.
  1.  Regular walks are a good way to socialize your dog!  Dogs are social animals.  They need to learn how to interact with other people, dogs, animals and everything in between.  Exposing your pet to social situations is key for a well rounded pet.  

If your dog is not necessarily friendly to others, walking can also be an opportunity to understand how to better help your pet through these situations. Avoiding all social situations in general can actually grow fears and uncertainty.  Learning how to be your pet’s best advocate is essential in any social scenario.

All in all, routinely walking your dog is a great habit to start out with in the New Year.  Remember that since the months are cold, walks may be shorter during this time. There may also be times when it is below freezing that due to extreme temperatures you may have to avoid the outdoors altogether.  In addition, something to think about is that your pet also may like to cozy up in a sweater, jacket, or booties. Lastly, remember that regular walks are great for us humans too.  So, if becoming healthier, better you in 2023 was on your list of resolutions, walking with your dog is a great way to get started for everyone.  

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Dog Days of Summer

The weather is warm. The sun is shining and families can finally be outside to spend time with each other. But there is one important member of the family that is missing from the group. Who, you may ask? Well, let me tell you! The family dog! Your dog needs exercise and to spend time outdoors as much as you do, so why not allow them to join in?  You may be thinking that considering the temperature is 85 degrees outside, is the ground too hot for your beloved pet to be outside? There are a few simple ways to avoid any unwanted injuries. 

  1. Take your shoe off and walk around barefoot or simply rest the palm of your hand on the surface. If you can not withstand the temperature of the ground for 7-10 seconds then it is too hot for your dog to walk on.
  2. Check the temperature before going outside. If the temperature is 85-90℉ the temperature of brick surfaces will heat up to 115℉, concrete up to 125℉, and asphalt up to 140℉. Imagine walking on a sidewalk while it’s that hot? Ouch!!
  3. Exercise your pet in the early morning or late evening when the temperatures tend to be lower. 
  4. If you absolutely need to walk your dog while the weather is still warm outside, walk the shortest route or walk in an area that is grassy or has dirt.
  5. Take frequent breaks and check your pet’s pads. When the sidewalks are too hot, blisters, loose flaps of skin, and red ulcerated patches can occur. This will require treatment by a veterinarian. 
  6. If you live in an area that is hot all of the time and has no shade or dirt paths, shop at your local pet store or online retailer for pet booties or shoes. They’re as easy as putting on your own shoes and you don’t have to tie them! Common brands are Pawz, Ruffwear boots, and Ultra Paws.
  7. And remember to keep those furry little companions well hydrated and rested for when the air is too hot there is always a risk of hyperthermia.

Summertime is just as fun for our pets as it is for us.  Most dogs want to be outside and exploring the world around them, we just need to be careful that our animals are staying cool and safe.  Any questions or concerns about hot weather injuries, please call the hospital at (847)695-7387 or contact us at southtownanimalhospital.com.  

“Healthy Pets, Longer Lives”

~Madison Hoffman

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Booming Holidays and Our Pets

Summer is a time of gathering, having fun, and being around people that you love. Our dogs want to join in on the fun as well! As we include our pets in our backyard barbecues on the Fourth of July, we have to remember that not everything is as bright and shiny to them as it is to us. 

Here are 5 ways to help calm your nervous pet during the summer holiday.

  1. Know your dogs’ triggers.
    1. Be observant of your dog’s behavior as the fireworks are being set off. Watch for barking, pacing, hiding, shaking and salivating.  
  2. Turn on the television or radio to help drown out the noise of the fireworks.
    1. Turning on a fan, white noise machine, or air conditioner will also help reduce how much your pet can hear.
  3. Look into an anxiety wrap or find an old fitted shirt of yours to help make your dog feel more secure.
    1. The scent that your old t-shirt releases will help as well!
  4. Allow your pet to find their ‘safe haven spot’. Once your pet has chosen their spot let them be and don’t try to coax them out. Trying to coax them out will cause more stress.
    1. This may include under a bed, hiding in your closet, their crate or bathroom.
  5. Pheromones that come in a spray or plug in may help, such as Adaptil or Feliway.
    1. These sprays imitate the properties of the natural pheromones of the lactating mother that provides kittens or puppies a calming sense of well- being. 
  6.  An oral herbal treat that serves as a relaxant called Composure Pro may help as well.  This is a blend of vitamins that work together to support balanced behavior in your dog or cat. 

Some dogs still require medications to also help “calm the nerves.” Consult your veterinarian before using any type of medication.  

Try these suggestions to see if your dog remains relaxed during the nighttime show. Although we may feel excited and in a celebratory mood, don’t forget about your pets.  Helping our loved ones get through a busy night of loud noises may make it the best Fourth of July for everyone in your family. 

South Town Animal Hospital is here for you and your pets. If you have any questions call us at (847)695-7387 or contact us at reception@southtownanimalhospital.com

Written by: Madison Hoffman

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Fatal Flowers

When the month of May rolls around Springtime is in the air, the flowers are in full bloom, and our pets are just as eager as we are to get out and enjoy the fresh air.  Often we forget that although we all want to have fun in the sun, we do need to be cautious that our pets don’t ingest some of these beautiful plants.  

Listed below are some of the most commonly planted and sprouting florals for the season that families need to be careful around their pets.

Lilies: Lilies are one of the leading plants ingested that are highly toxic to both dogs and cats.  More so in cats, if even the water from the vase is ingested it can cause kidney failure.  

Symptoms of Lily ingestion:

  •  Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia
  • Not Eating
  • Pale Gums
  • Diarrhea
  • Kidney Failure 
  • Death

Daffodils: Although Daffodils are full of sunny happiness, they can be another contributor to pet toxcicity. These flowers contain a property called lycorine, that can be toxic to animals.

Symptoms of Daffodil Ingestion:

  1. Drooling
  2. Nausea
  3. Vomiting
  4. Diarrhea
  5. Increased heart rate
  6. Abdominal pain
  7. Abnormal breathing
  8. Cardiac arrhythmias

Tulips and Hyacinths: Tulips and hyacinths are a seasonal favorite that are often unknown that are toxic to pets.  This is due to the fact that the toxicity primarily lies within the bulbs.  Many times animals like to dig up the bulbs and eat them.  This is when the symptoms arise.  

Symptoms of Tulip and Hyacinth ingestion:

  • Drooling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Difficulty breathing

Begonias: These gorgeous springtime favorites contain a crystal that can cause kidney issues in pets.  If your pet eats a begonia’s many stomach issues can arise.

Symptoms of Begonia Ingestion:

  • Decrease in appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • lethargy

South Town Animal Hospital wants to remind you that while planting season is among us we must be cautious that some of our seasonal favorites just don’t mix with our furry loved ones.  

If any ingestion occurs, call us at South Town Animal Hospital at 847-695-7387 or call ASPCA poison control at 888-426-4435.

Springtime is a beautiful season, let’s enjoy it while keeping our pets safe!

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South Town Animal Hospital's logo

South Town Animal Hospital recognizes that we are in a changing world and everyone is busy with even less time for social interactions. Considering this is the case we wanted to send out a warm hello to all of our caring clients and fun-loving patients that we have the privilege of serving. We thank you for giving us the time and opportunity to do the things we love most, which is caring for your pet. In order to best serve you and keep you informed, South Town Animal Hospital wanted to share some information with you to keep you up to date on how we are operating and any new happenings in the clinic.

First off, let’s talk teeth! February is National Veterinary Dental Month. During this time we have decided to share our care by providing some discounts to our dental services. If you schedule your pet’s dental procedure in the month of February, you can receive a $50.00 savings on the dental cleaning. We will also be providing you with a complimentary at home dental care kit, to be more proactive on your pet’s oral health. Proper dental care can highly increase the overall health, happiness, and longevity of your pet’s life. If you are interested in getting your pet on point with great oral care give us a call at 847-695-7387, email at reception@southtownanimalhospital.com, or chat with us on our South Town Animal Hospital app.

Moving on, we are still running curbside for all of our services with the exception of humane euthanasia appointments. I know this can be difficult for some, but rarely do we get to explain the reasons and benefits of operating in this fashion.

What actually is curbside care?

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic many animal hospitals, like ours, have chosen to run their operations curbside. This means that essentially all services are performed inside,while you stay in your vehicle. Think about it as a drive through service. You get to stay in your own safe, comfy personal space, while we take care of your furry babies inside the building.

How does curbside care work?

When you get to the parking lot, you remain in your vehicle and either call or text the office to signify you are here for your appointment, med/food pick up, or treatment admission. For examinations and treatment admissions, your technician will speak to you over the phone and come out to get your pet. The doctor will then do a full physical examination and call you to discuss findings and prior to any necessary diagnostics or other procedures they may need to perform. After the appointment is finished your technician will bring your pet out to you and customer service will check you out over the phone.

How does curbside care benefit everyone?

South Town Animal Hospital is a small staff of 16 people. The risk of mass spread of Covid 19 is very high in our environment. We have to work in very close proximity to each other and our patients in small spaces. Considering we are such a small staff illness can be debilitating to the practice. This leaves us unable to care for your furry family members. We want to continue to provide proper care to your pets and curbside allows us to do so.

Not only does curbside lessen the spread of Covid, it also enables you to remain comfortable in your own space. Inquire for a bottle of water, if you are thirsty. If you would like to run an errand or get a bite to eat while you wait, that works for us too. We can take care of your loved one while you get things done! You don’t even have to get out in the cold, rain or snow. South Town Animal Hospital is here to make you comfortable.

How will my pet do without me?

We all worry about our loved ones when we are unable to be by their side, but in most cases, pets do great. Sometimes pets tend to feel more protective when their family is in sight. Without the concern of having to watch over their people, pets can feel more calm and in return doctors can do what needs to be done. On an examination table pets allow veterinarians and technicians to do so much more due to the change in environment as well. This makes it more efficient for us to take care of your pet.

Please remember that we love animals and would not be doing what we do if we felt otherwise. The gratification that we receive from our chosen occupation comes from ensuring your cat or dog is healthy. We want to ease your concerns while they are in our care.

South Town Animal Hospital also understands that in these times the way that we have to approach situations is fluid and ever changing. We will constantly be reevaluating our policies to best suit our patients, pet owners and staff.

We know that continuing curbside care we greatly miss out on connecting with you. We miss the hospital chatter, the updates on your families and just seeing your smile. Did you know we are on multiple social media platforms? Follow us on Twitter @southtownanimal, Facebook at South Town Animal Hospital, TikTok @ Southtown1944, or you can contact us on our website at www.southtownanimalhospital.com. We love to re-connect and hear from you! We also have a South Town Animal Hospital app were we can chat as well. Check out your Google Play Store or App Store to find the awesome, free app! You can also receive reward points or request appointments or medications on the app. It is a great tool to have all around.

Lastly, to keep up with rising costs of healthcare supplies and services, we have had to increase some of our prices as well. Please remember that during this time we have felt the pressure of inflation the same as others.

Finally and most importantly South Town Animal Hospital wants to thank you for the continued care in our small business. We take pride in our work and want you to know that we are always here to listen to questions and concerns. We love each and every one of our patients as if they are our own pets and hope to continue to care for them in the future.

2 dogs with mask
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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.

South Town Animal Hospital's logo
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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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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.

Online Pharmacy