Page 1

Volume 4 •Issue 1

Spring 2013

Dr. Anne Stoneham: On the Front Lines of Life Susie’s Story Ask Dr. Katy with Dr. Katy Nelson Cutting Edge Medicine: Stem Cell Therapy



“Misha” available for adoption at Great Dane Rescue of the Commonwealth (see page 42 for details)

Spring 20

Volume 4

Issue 1

Volume 4 •Issue 1



Dr. Ann e On the Stoneham: of Life Front Lines Susie’s Story Ask Dr. Ka with Dr. ty Katy Nel son Cutting Edge M edicine: Stem C ell Ther apy

Spring 2013





available for adoptio Great Da n at Commonw ne Rescue of the ealth (see pag


Weekend Getaway:


Weekend Getaway:




Alternative Therapy:






Ask Dr. Katy:


United for Change:


Stories Within The Bond:


Seeking a Forever Home

On the Cover…

New River Retreat

e 42 for


“Misha” is seeking her forever home. She is available through the Great Dane Rescue of the Commonwealth. For more info see Page 42 Photo by: Rob Cordosi Photography

Elk Forge Bed & Breakfast

Beggars Can’t Be Choosers

Hooked on Homeopathy


Defining Moments

Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of War

with Dr. Katy Nelson

HeARTS Speak—Shelter Change Through Photography

Prissy the Stoner


Cutting-Edge Medicine


Spring Season Goal


To Feel Pain or Not to Feel Pain


Adoption of A Great Dane:

Stem Cell Therapy for Dogs

Things You Should Know

special features 14

Dr. Anne Stoneham: On the Front Lines of Life


Susie’s Story

Spring 2013 |


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contributors Sherman Canapp, DVM

Amanda Meighan, Intern

Dr. Sherman Canapp is the owner and Chief of Staff at Veterinary Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group (VOSM) where he practices regenerative medicine and small animal orthopedic surgery. He is a Diplomate of both the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation.

Amanda is a recent graduate of Virginia Tech where she received her Bachelor’s degree in English with cum laude honors. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in English Secondary Education. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering at local animal shelters and humane societies, hiking, and traveling

Bruce Coston, DVM

Patrick Miller, Intern

Doctor Coston owns and operates Seven Bends Veterinary Hospital in Woodstock, Virginia. He is the author of two books: The Gift of Pets and Ask The Animals. He is owned by a mixed breed dog named Starr.

Krisi Erwin, DVM, CVA, CCRT Dr. Erwin, a life-long Loudoun County native, owns a house call practice called Wholistic Paws Veterinary Services that focuses on offering in-home acupuncture, rehabilitation, pet hospice, and euthanasia for her clients. Dr. Erwin is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist and a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist.

William GIven William Given has owned, exhibited, and bred purebred dogs for more than 25 years. He has competed in conformation, obedience, and rally. William is an AKC licensed judge for Junior Showmanship. He also has a background in disaster management and emergency preparedness for pet animals and livestock.

Laura Jones Laura Semonche Jones is an attorney and freelance writer and editor. She lives with her husband, two adored pit bull mixes and two tolerant cats in Charlottesville. Fallout Shelter, one of the stories in Breaking and Entering, her debut collection of short stories, was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Jones is also working on her first novel, and yes, there is a dog in it. More information and samples of her work are at www.

Deva Khalsa, V.M.D. Dr. Deva Khalsa V.M.D. practices with a blend of sophisticated holistic techniques designed to best enhance the natural strengths of her patients. Aside from her impressive career and dedication to teaching, Dr. Khalsa has authored, ‘Dr. Khalsa’s Natural Dog’, a book best described as a ‘holistic bible’ for dog owners and has designed a comprehensive preventive supplement for Deserving Pets.

Charlene Logan-Burnett Charlene Logan Burnett is a service professional member of HeARTs Speak. When not writing, she devotes most of her time to animal advocacy and rescue. Her fiction will appear in the upcoming anthology, A Quiet Shelter There, a benefit for Friends of Homeless Animals, a shelter that focuses on rescue in the Northern Virginia and Washington DC area.


Patrick graduated from Bishop O’Connell High School in 2008, and is currently finishing his undergraduate degree in English Literature at Virginia Commonwealth University. Outside of school, Patrick sings and plays guitar for the band Amateur Thieves, and can be found at any Richmond venue giving lectures on why people should not bring their dogs to punk shows.

Katy Nelson, DVM Dr. Katy Nelson is a veterinarian and the host of “The Pet Show with Dr. Katy” on Washington DC’s News Channel 8 - the show airs at 11am on Saturday mornings. An ardent advocate for pet rescue, Dr. Nelson works with numerous local and national rescue organizations to promote pet adoption. Dr. Nelson is known as “Dr. Pawz” on Washington DC’s All News Radio Station WTOP live on air every two weeks. You can also catch her on her online radio show called “Pawsitive Talk with Dr. Katy” on the all positive radio network HealthyLife.Net. Dr. Nelson is a Certified Veterinary Journalist (CVJ), accredited by the American Society of Veterinary Journalists (ASVJ). Catch her every Friday morning on News Channel 8’s “Let’s Talk Live,” and you can even find her reporting on animal health topics every week on WJLA ABC7 News. A prolific writer, you can follow her on The Pet Show’s blog ( and find back episodes of The Pet Show there, as well.

Gary Norman, Esquire Mr. Norman is a visible attorney with a disability, gifted in brokering relationships and in designing engagement strategies. Notably, two influences have informed Gary’s goal of bringing people together: the example of his mother and her hospitality as well as the Cleveland institution called the City Club. As such, he has co-founded the Mid-Atlantic Lyceum, and its publication arm the Mid-Atlantic Journal, to heighten public discourse and public policy.

Adriane Shell, DVM Dr. Shell is an emergency and critical care veterinarian at Crossroads Animal Referral & Emergency in Frederick, MD where she is the director of the Emergency Department. Dr. Shell completed her education at Ross University in St. Kitts, West Indies and University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Shells interests include surgical emergencies, anemia, and endocrine emergencies. Dr. Shell also operates Maryland Necropsy Service, a compassionate cause of death service in Maryland.

Lindsey Wolko, Pet Safety Advocate Lindsey is a long-time pet safety advocate and founder of the Center for Pet Safety (CPS), a non-profit organization dedicated to consumer and companion animal safety. She is a graduate of George Mason University and holds an associate membership with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International). Ms. Wolko currently leads the pet product research efforts at CPS.

The Virginia–Maryland Dog

At Fuzzypants Pet Photography, we specialize in the balance of playfulness and poignancy to provide your family with soulful and honest images of your beloved pets. Please contact us today to discuss ideas for your perfect custom photography experience.

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{ department }

Publisher/Editor in Chief Pamela Wahl

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a note

from our publisher

Director of Operations Gene Wahl

“Nothing is so beautiful as spring.” ~ Gerard Manley Hopkins ~

Art Director Kalico Design, Kim Dow Social Media Director Laurel Weetall

Spring is a wonderful time of year to get outside and enjoy the beauty of everything new again. Whether you are taking a hike in the woods, or simply sitting on a hillside with your furry friend by your side, Spring is a welcome change.

Senior Editor Kimberly Holmes Photographers Rob Cordosi Photography Fuzzypants Photography, Carina Thornton Copy Editor Matt Neufeld Advertising Director Pamela Wahl Production Coordinator Diane Weller Web Site Design/Manager Kalico Design, Kim Dow Business Manager Cathy Wahl Contributing Writers: Sherman Canapp, DVM, MS, CCRT Bruce Coston, DVM Krisi Erwin, DVM, CVA, CCRT William Given Laura Jones Deva Khalsa, VMD Charlene Logan-Burnett Amanda Meighan, Intern Patrick Miller, Intern Katy Nelson, DVM Gary Norman, Esquire Adriane Shell, DVM Lindsey Wolko, Pet Safety Advocate The Virginia-Maryland Dog Magazine 1 College Avenue Frederick, MD 21701 Tel: (301) 514-2804 Fax: (301) 576-5079

With this spring edition, we are pleased to announce the addition of three new contributors to our wonderful team of writers. Dr. Katy Nelson, host of “The Pet Show with Dr. Katy,” Saturdays at 11 a.m. on Washington, D.C.’s NewsChannel 8, and who is also known as Dr. Pawz on WTOP’s “Living Radio,” will provide readers with the opportunity to ask questions regarding your beloved canine companions. A new section of the magazine, “Stories within the Bond,” will feature Dr. Bruce Coston, the owner of the Seven Bends Veterinary Hospital in Woodstock, Virginia. Besides operating a veterinary practice, Dr. Coston has written two beautiful and heartwarming books, “Ask the Animals,” and his most recent publication, “The Gift of Pets.” We would also like to introduce Dr. Sherman Canapp, the owner and chief of staff at Veterinary Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Group (VOSM), located in Annapolis Junction, Maryland. VOSM offers the first and only veterinary sports medicine for dogs in the United States. Dr. Canapp will provide updates regarding advances in veterinary medicine, as they relate to sports medicine. We welcome each of these doctors to our publication. We are sincerely thankful to have such a fabulous team of contributors who provide our readers with “serious content for the serious dog owner!” And, as always, we have devoted our cover to a dog in need. Our cover features a beautiful gentle giant named Misha. Misha is seeking her forever home. Misha is available through The Great Dane Rescue of the Commonwealth. Additional information regarding Misha and this fine organization may be found on our “Seeking a Forever Home” page contained within this edition of the magazine. . Happy Spring! Pamela Wahl Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Copyright 2013 No part of this publication may be reproduced without expressed written permission of the publisher. No part may be transmitted in any form by any means, including electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Publisher accepts no liability for solicited or unsolicited materials that are damaged or lost. Views expressed by editorial contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

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Photo courtesy of VOSM

Cutting-edge Medicine: Stem Cell Therapy For Dogs

There are all kinds of dogs in this world, from the lazy bulldog to the hyperactive Labrador Retriever. Like humans, many dogs are faced with the sometimes unfortunate combination of genetics and bad luck that can leave them predisposed to orthopedic ailments such as osteoar-

By Sherman Canapp, DVM, MS, CCRT

thritis and musculoskeletal injuries. Modern veterinary medicine has made impressive strides in the development of diagnostic methods and treatment options for injuries to tendons, ligaments and joints, but many of these conditions can be challenging to diagnose. X-ray, a common diagnostic tool, while useful to detect osteoarthritis, cannot conclusively diagnose soft tissue injuries, and palpation is a subjective method that changes from one veterinarian to another. For these reasons, among others, many canines suffering from orthopedic ailments are undertreated and their injuries progress beyond what can be managed by rest and medications.

By the time many of these patients make it to an examination room, the injury is chronic, and surgery, along with a stringent post-operative rehabilitation program that is geared at returning each patient to a fully functioning state, is necessary. In some cases, despite appropriate treatment, pain and lameness are not fully resolved. For these dogs (some of whom were elite athletes), we knew that, in order to get them back to functioning normally, we would need to work outside of the traditional veterinary model. That’s when our interest in stem cell therapy was born. At VOSM, doctors started harnessing the therapeutic pow-

Spring 2013 |


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Below: Fat Collection Photos Courtesy of VOSM

ers of adipose-derived stem cells in 2007. Since then, they have successfully treated hundreds of patients.

Above (Larger Photo): Stem Cell Collection Above (Smaller Photo): Fat Collection

Stem cell therapy is the act of using cells from the patient’s own body to help decrease pain and inflammation. The process allows injured tissues to heal through regeneration. By introducing adult stem cells through a targeted, minimally-invasive approach, the damaged or diseased tissues are treated with a minimal risk of rejection or side effects. Stem cells collected from bone marrow or adipose (fat) tissue can differentiate into various tissues such as bone, cartilage, tendon and muscle. This diversity makes them useful in the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal conditions commonly seen in canine patients. Adipose tissue is preferred to bone marrow in the canine patient, as it is readily available, yields a high volume of the desired stem cells and can be easily harvested with minimal discomfort to the patient. Although there are numerous locations where fat can be harvested, a recent study presented at the American College of Veterinary Surgeons Symposium revealed that the falciform ligament (fat on the most superficial surface inside the abdominal cavity) was the recommended location, due to the quantity and quality of cells.


Collection involves a small incision in the patient’s belly, from which the fat is harvested. It is then packaged and sent to a laboratory, where the cells are cultured. In about two weeks, the cells are ready for injection and are used under ultrasoundguidance (for tendons and ligaments) or intra-articular (for joints). At certain laboratories, the cells can be frozen and banked for future use. In-house stem cell processing systems for same day collection and injection are also available. Stem cell therapy is a fantastic strategy in theory, but the procedure can become an expensive failure in the hands of an inexperienced practitioner. With stem cells, a definitive diagnosis is more crucial than ever because the cells must be injected into the exact area of need. Without a definitive diagnosis and a proper placement of the cells, misguided injections of the cells will fail to provide benefit. While osteoarthritis is easily detectable on x-ray, accurate diagnosis of a soft tissue condition can be significantly more challenging. The key to a definitive diagnosis of your pet’s soft tissue injury lies in the use of diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound performed by an experienced ultrasonographer, who is trained to locate and interpret anatomical abnormalities. This advanced imaging procedure has become an integral part of VOSM’s comprehensive patient care program. Also, injections of the harvested stem cells are performed with the guidance of ultrasound, ensuring that cells are precisely injected into the damaged tissue. Through the use of this advanced system, doctors are now able to determine which patients could benefit from stem cell therapy, and doctors can then incorporate this therapy early in pets’ treatment, rather than waiting for traditional treatments to fail. What happens after an injection is often remarkable. Dogs suffering from osteoarthritis have improved comfort and mobility. Soft-tissue injuries and associated lameness can be resolved. Followup ultrasounds performed at specific intervals,


Like humans, many dogs are faced with the sometimes unfortunate combination of genetics and bad luck that can leave them predisposed to orthopedic ailments such as osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal injuries.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

post stem cell injection, can reveal that previouslydamaged areas within the tendon or ligament appear healthy. Rehabilitation therapy enhances stem cell treatment through stimulation of the cells and tissues during healing, and then focuses on strengthening to protect from re-injury. For the canine athlete, retraining after graduation from rehabilitation therapy can augment strengthening and prevention of re-injury specific to the demands of the sport in which a pet participates. Doctors using this comprehensive approach have been able to achieve much success.


For more information:


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Dr. Sherman Canapp, DVM, MS, CCRT Veterinary Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group 10975 Guilford Road Annapolis Junction, MD 20701 (240) 295-4400 or (410) 418-8446

Spring 2013 |


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A Spring Season Goal: Adopt a Dog! By William Given A spring season resolution—much like a New Year’s resolution--is a pledge an individual makes to achieve a goal or to give up a bad habit.  The practice of making resolutions, whether it’s in the spring or on New Year’s Day, is nothing new.  Men and women have been making and breaking them for millennia.  The Romans started each new year by making promises to one of their many deities, Janus, for whom the month of January is named.  Long before the Romans, the ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the beginning of each year. The most popular New Year’s resolutions here in Virginia and Maryland, and the rest of the United States for that matter, include:  exercise more, lose weight, eat healthier, drink less liquor and quit smoking.  A study conducted by the University of Bristol in 2007 concluded that 88 percent of New Year’s resolutions are unsuccessful.  Now, with the arrival of spring, a new season and warmer weather, it is another hopeful time of year to make your resolution for 2013!

Make your resolution one of the 12 percent that is successful.  Resolve to open your heart and your home to a new four-legged roommate!  Resolve to adopt a dog from your municipal animal shelter or from a local breed-rescue organization.  There are so many benefits you will receive.  No longer will you have to come home to an empty house, as a friendly dog will be there to cheerfully greet you.  Nor will you have to wake up to the dreaded sound of the alarm clock—your faithful dog will let you know it is time to get up to go outside.  You won’t have to exercise by yourself—your active, energetic dog will be excited to walk or run with you as far as you want to go.  Never again will you have to go to bed alone—your cuddly furry companion will gladly find a warm and cozy spot at the foot of the bed. Not all animal shelters are the same.  There are three types of animal adoption organizations:  municipal animal shelters; private humane societies; and rescue groups.  Most rescue groups feature one particular breed.  These dogs usually live in foster homes with members of the organization, so those members tend to know the dogs very well.  The foster parents can provide you a great deal of information about the individual characteristics of the dog you are interested in.  They know the dog’s strengths and weaknesses, his likes and dislikes, and how he or she might fit into your home and living situation. Another smart resolution:  Adopt a Senior.  Seriously consider adopting an older dog!  They will bring you all the comfort of an old friend.  They will save you many of the challenges of a puppy, like potty training and chewing on your favorite pair of shoes. Also, remember that older dogs usually spend a greater amount of time in a shelter or foster home because so many adopters tend to prefer puppies.  But you can do yourself a favor by taking an older, more relaxed companion.  Nearly every shelter or rescue group has seniors patiently waiting for a loving, forever home.  Ask about them when you visit your municipal animal shelter or when you contact a breed rescue organization.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

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Dr. Anne Stoneham:

Frontof Lines on the

By Laura S. Jones

Photos by Laurel Weetall


Dr. Anne Stoneham with Patient “Kallie”


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

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aking your sick or injured dog to the veterinarian can be such a desperately terrifying time. “Is he going to be okay? What is going on with her? Please help!” These moments at the vet’s office become crystallized in our memories as sharp and painful reminders of the dogs we have loved and lost. Even when the outcome is wonderful, we know we will be back. The canine lifespan is far too short. Imagine, if you will, seeing that pain and sharing that pain every day of your working life. Imagine, also, being the rock that people cling to when they feel like they are drowning in their own fear and sorrow. How can someone bear it? For Dr. Anne Stoneham, living by her version of the golden rule is one way she survives and thrives in an atmosphere charged with such emotion. “My focus is always to treat the animals like I would treat my own pet,” she says simply. That calm focus comes from a big heart, excellent training and a lifetime of loving animals.

The Days of Her Life Stoneham currently works in the emergency department at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She specializes in critical care and emergency medicine, which are two very different things, she explains. They are linked, but separate, like two sides of the same coin. People know intuitively what an emergency is; a critical care situation arises when an animal needs a combination of therapies and skills not available at most general practice veterinarians. It’s like the difference between the emergency room and the intensive care unit at a human hospital, and working in either one can get your heart racing.

“Emergency requires speed and critical care requires intensity,” Stoneham says. “I like the balance,” she adds, noting that many people gravitate to one specialty or the other. She also says that one of the reasons she likes emergency and critical care is so she can take the best care of her own animals, because she knows, better than most that accidents happen. Stoneham says that for her, the best part of working at VCA is the fast pace and high intensity, as well as the challenging nature of the cases. Plus, she says, with obvious pleasure remembering the successes, “It is a huge rush when a really sick animal I treat gets better. I am always happy when I can pinpoint the problem and recommend what’s appropriate.” The worst part of her job is the sadness she feels when an animal is not treatable, and then having to deliver the heartbreaking news to the owners. When asked how she manages to survive when all her cases involve crises of some kind, she sort of shrugs and deflects any admiration for her fortitude. “Everybody just has their own thing they’re good at and like to do.”

Her Own Animals Naturally, Stoneham grew up with animals. “I’ve had animals all my life,” she says. Her experiences with dogs started with Suzie, “a beautiful brown and black spaniel mix who we got right just around the time I was born. She came to us as a stray. She showed up on our porch, and we had her for 13 years. I loved the fact we were always the same age when I was a kid. She was a wonderfully sweet dog and always seemed to be smiling.” Tobey was added to the family when Stoneham was five. A Welsh Corgi puppy, Stoneham says he was” super cute and looked like

Left Dr. Stoneham examing patient “Polly” assisted by Vet Tech Brandy Right: Dr. Stoneham reviewing a patient x-ray

Spring 2013 |


Dr. Stoneham with patient “Polly”

a fox kit. He could run amazingly fast and was my buddy for many years.” Then, as they often do, Stoneham’s first adult dog found the deepest place in her heart. Megan, 40 pounds with medium length black fur, was “a Heinz 57, a pure mutt, the best kind in my opinion, but I love them all. Every purebred breed has its charms. But Megan was perfect,” she says, and she left a big shadow. Knowing the loss of a very special dog on a personal level undoubtedly helps Stoneham bring compassion and strength to her job, and helps her succeed in her intense profession. When Megan needed critical care at the end of her life, Stoneham admits it was hard to be Megan’s doctor and her mom, but she relied on her colleagues in the same way that so many have relied on her. “I’m lucky to work with a lot of smart doctors.” Currently, Stoneham shares her home with her husband, Scott Johanson, and their daughter Svea, two birds and two cats. The animals are a diverse group. “Jamesy, a Senegal parrot, came into my life with my husband and is completely bonded to Scott and only Scott. Nigel, a parakeet, has been with us for the past three years or so. He’s not as picky about his people and is nice to everyone,” she says. Meerkat is a ‘failed foster’ from Stoneham’s time in Oregon. “He was an angel in his cage and a pure hellion when we brought him home. I call it bad growing pains. He took so much sleep from me for a while that it really prepared me for motherhood. And now he is such a wonderful cat,” she says laughing at the way life plays out. Teak pushed his way into her life four years ago as a stray and is a big hunter, Stoneham admits. In contrast, “Meerkat has been known to sit and languidly watch a chipmunk who was less than three feet from him.” The two birds have their own room, thanks to Teak’s hunting interests. “The guests have to sleep with the birds,” says Stoneham nonchalantly. Otherwise, the seven of them make one big, happy family, albeit one with a missing piece. “We’ll be getting another dog at some point,” Stoneham says. “After Megan died, I couldn’t face having another dog for a while. Now that I can, we have Svea and we want to wait until


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

Dr. Stoneham with patient “Kallie”

she’s at least a little bit bigger before we do. That said, we almost adopted a Shih Tzu a few months ago. Her owners gave her up when she was sick. However, one of my nurses really, really wanted her, so she now has a wonderful home with her.”

Her Path to Her Calling Speaking of nurses, Stoneham, 42, initially wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps and be a nurse, but was attracted to the world of veterinary medicine by the classic and wonderful James Herriot books, including “All Creatures Great and Small.” Once she decided on her path, Stoneham acquired an impressive set of skills and credentials. First, she received her DVM from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, in 1995. Cornell is known for the breadth and depth of its main focus areas. Vet school, like medical school, takes four more years of studying after college. “I really liked vet school,” Stoneham says, which makes sense given her drive and intelligence. “It was hard though.” And she is not the only one to think so. According to a Nov. 2, 2012, article in The New York Times, the operational complexity of vet schools (remember they must teach their students how to treat multiple species, not just one) is one reason there are only 28 accredited programs in the United States, compared with 138 medical schools. That makes the application process highly competitive. Stoneham says that once students are accepted, though, there is a great deal of support for them. After school, Stoneham went into general practice. treating large and small animals. She soon decided she wanted to specialize in emergency medicine and critical care, and she needed to pursue more training. So she was an intern at the Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Portland, Ore., and finished a residency in small animal emergency and critical care at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University before she came to VCA. These internships and residencies are part of the procedure to specialize, and they are similar in length and rigor to what human physicians go through.

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And Then, Tucker While there are many individual patients whose memories have become a permanent part of Stoneham’s psyche, one very special one connects her to this magazine. Stoneham met Pam Wahl, the publisher and owner of this magazine, about five years ago when, as Wahl explains, “Tucker, one of my beloved dogs, ended up staying in the ICU for several weeks due to complications associated with surgery. Anne was wonderful. There were days when I visited my dog and Anne would literally climb into the kennel with me to discuss our options.” The intervening years have not dimmed Stoneham’s recollections of that awful time for Wahl and Tucker. “That one’s as clear as day,” she says. Stoneham remembers Tucker battling as hard as he could. He was “a critical care patient because of complications from surgery that eventually claimed his life. It was just a devastating experience for me. I loved him and Pam was such a special client. He was one of the biggest shelties I had ever seen in my life, and he was so sweet and just a good little patient. He did anything I asked for him and was here for such a long time. I would talk with Pam every day.” When asked about her strategies for coping with those kinds of losses, Stoneham says that “I honestly don’t know what my mechanism of dealing is, but I am able to do it. Losing a patient does make me sad, but if I know I and my team have done the best we can, that helps,” she continues. “The outcomes are not good at times, but at others they are wonderful.”

The Hardest Decision Stoneham’s personality and training have enabled her to accept and balance the triumphs and tragedies of her daily practice, and she is able to accept that “some diseases are just untreatable.” When that happens, she tries to offer all of the information about her patient’s condition and options to the owners. The best way to wade through the information, she believes, is to ask yourself: “What is their quality of life overall? That’s the question when I am treating. It all has to come down to that. If treatment can get an animal back to its previous quality of life or close to it, that’s a good idea. [But] if treatment will not help them much or make them sicker,” then it probably isn’t the best idea, she suggests. But she knows it is not her call. “I can’t make the difficult decisions for them,” she says.

what your pet wants, she says, because animals “totally communicate with us.”

How to Keep Your Dogs Safe While life will always bring ups and downs, no matter the extent of our precautions, Stoneham does offer some tips that could keep your dogs out of her care. “Keep toxins out of their reach or out of the house and don’t expose an animal to extreme heat or cold,” she says. “Be logical when dealing with your dog, and use the same common sense you would for a little kid.” And on the subject of little kids, Stoneham has some advice on raising animal-savvy children. “I think there are a couple of really important things that children need to learn in regards to animals: One, always be gentle and two, always be careful, meaning always wait for an adult to be around before you approach or try to touch an animal.” Her own daughter, Svea, is 18 months old, loves making animal noises and already knows the American Sign Language words for many animals. “She loves animals but gives them space,” Stoneham adds. “She doesn’t tackle the cats and doesn’t constantly chase them. She’s very gentle when she’s petting any animal. When she’s around dogs, she is ecstatic but doesn’t reach out to them until she’s been around them for a while.” While Stoneham doesn’t specifically say it, it seems there might be a veterinarian-in-training in her home!

The Beat Will Go On As for the future, Stoneham says she’d “like to keep doing what I am doing. I really like my job.” In response, pet owners can say thank goodness, because if you ever find yourself in a fight for your dog’s life, Stoneham, with her mix of intelligence and compassion is someone you’ll want by your side.

But she does offer a comforting rule of thumb for anxious owners, born from her own years of experience. “So long as an owner is putting the animal first, he can’t make the wrong decision.” And you’ll know

Spring 2013 |



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{ weekend getaway }

Rollin’ on the New River in Beautiful Appalachia—With the Dogs! Southwestern Virginia’s New River Retreat offers pet-friendly water activities, hiking, sightseeing, and relaxation

As the weather warms up and urge to hit the road to the mountains increases, bring the dogs and head on out to the beautiful, breathtaking mountains of Southwestern Virginia and an array of inviting, comfortable, cozy rental homes at the New River Retreat. New River, based in Draper, Va., offers rental homes along the waters of Claytor Lake and the New River, offering a mountain getaway hosted by warm, pleasant and friendly staff in this picturesque region of Appalachia. There are an expansive 32 properties available at the New River Retreat—and more than half of them are pet-friendly! With so much natural beauty in this area, there are plenty of outdoor adventures for you—and your dog! There are water activities at Claytor Lake and on the New River, naturally, and there are many hiking trails in the area. The Claytor Lake State Park offers more than three miles of hiking trails for you and your dog! The Cascades, a popular two-mile hike leading to a beautiful 69-foot waterfall, is a charming recreational trek, located in Pembroke, Virginia. If you’re looking for a hike to a vista or peak, there are many day-hikes on the Appalachian Trail! Dragon’s Tooth, located in Catawba, Va., is a popular hike that will give you and your pet a chance to join other Appalachian Trail hikers as you make your way to a rocky summit. And just down the road from this hike is one of the most-photographed spots of the Appalachian Trail—McAfee Knob. This stunning peak provides a renowned panorama of the Catawba Valley for you and your furry companions to enjoy!

The beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway also cuts through the mountains of the area close to the New River Retreat. While you’re traveling the Parkway, consider stopping for a relaxing picnic with your pet at one of the many vistas along the route. But, first, be sure to pick up a bottle of wine at Chateau Morrisette—a famous Virginia winery known for its love of dogs! Just check out their labels! The Junction, a sister company of the New River Retreat, provides guests with easy access to different ways to enjoy the New River Valley. Located at the Draper Mercantile, which is under the same ownership as New River Retreat, the Junction provides bike rentals, outdoor gear, and even guided outdoor excursions----including hiking, biking, and kayaking! Be sure to also check out the Draper Mercantile, where the New River Retreat’s office is also located, to experience the culture of the area. On certain nights, the marketplace becomes a music hall--complete with community jam sessions and impromptu “porch pickin’!!”

By Amanda Meighan Photos Courtesy of New River Retreat

For More Information: New River Retreat (800) 916-9346

The friendly folks at New River Retreat acknowledge the importance of being able to bring your whole family with you on vacation—dogs included! The company provides many different accommodations to meet your vacation needs. Whether you are looking for a house on the water, a home to host large family reunions, or romantic getaways, the New River Retreat is excited and eager to have you and your guest stay at one of their rental properties and cabins in the New River Valley!

Spring 2013 |


{ weekend getaway }

Into the Woods near the Bay and a River with Your Dog! Bedding and Breakfasting at Elkton, Md.’s Beautiful, Wooded Elk Forge Bed and Breakfast

By Amanda Meighan Photos Courtesy of Elk Forge Bed & Breakfast

Nestled on five acres of beautiful woods, nature trails and gardens, just a few miles from the Chesapeake Bay, the Susquehanna River and the 5,000-acre Fair Hill Nature Preserve, Elkton, Md.’s pristine, charming Elk Forge Bed and Breakfast offers an ideal, picturesque get-away for you and your pet--with a day spa, outdoor hot tub, scrumptious breakfasts, luxurious rooms and suites, other amenities, and scores of nearby outdoor activities! This country-inn bed-and-breakfast is an ideal, convenient retreat for you and Fido. The B&B is conveniently located off of Interstate 95, between Elkton, Md., and Newark, Delaware, and Baltimore, Philadelphia and Lancaster are less than an hour away! Elk Forge offers fourteen luxurious rooms and suites—and four of them are available for those who are traveling with pets! Just like the other grand rooms, the pet-friendly rooms all have exterior entrances, some with private porches; private bathrooms, fireplaces; king- or queen-sleep-support mattresses; and—of course—an exception breakfast! The mouth-watering, full breakfasts start with Premium Roasted Coffee, specialty loose-leaf teas, and a selection of various juices.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

Home-baked bread—including banana bread or cinnamon scones—are served with fresh fruit and the B&B’s special Granny’s Gourmet Granolas—a special treat laden with fruits, nuts and grains! The breakfast entrée changes daily and some entrees may include quiche lorraine or shirred egg with smoked bacon!! Conveniently located in an area rich in natural beauty, located just a few miles from the Chesapeake Bay, Elkton, Md., offers many attractions for you and your dog. While you enjoy the many relaxing services offered by Elk Forge’s Tea Garden Spa--the on-site spa at Elk Forge that offers massages, facials, and body wraps--consider giving your pet his own spa day at

{ weekend getaway }

one of the many pet spas located in Elkton, such as the Pampered Pet of Elkton, a full- or self-service dog washing and grooming business. Once you and your pet have been properly pampered and groomed, consider a doggy date at one of the many pet-friendly restaurants in the area, such as the Tidewater Grille in Havre de Grace, Md.—a succulent steak and seafood establishment overlooking the Susquehanna River, where you and your pet are welcome to dine outdoors! Just minutes from the Elk Forge Bed and Breakfast is the Fair Hill Nature Preserve—which is 5,000 acres of natural beauty where you and your dog can hike! Or consider taking advantage of the water activities available on the Chesapeake Bay. Elk Neck State Park is another popular place for pet owners to enjoy--with 2,188 acres of beaches, marshlands, and wooded bluffs. Elk Neck is only 20 miles from the Elk Forge Bed and Breakfast!

At Elk Forge, your pets are welcome to take advantage of the property to frolic and run around outdoors! As with all guests, pets must abide by certain rules! Elk Forge, naturally, asks owners to please pick up after their pets—and to please not leave pets unattended in rooms or vehicles! Also, pets must be leashed or under an owner’s command at all times. Pets aren’t allowed in public areas of the inn, but that’s partly due to laws on the books concerning commercial kitchens. However, overall, the Elk Forge Lodge acknowledges that pets are family members, are a pleasure to travel with, and thus, you and your pets are welcome to enjoy the peace, natural beauty and serenity of this beautiful country bed-and-breakfast!

Spring 2013 |

For More Information: The Elk Forge Bed & Breakfast 807 Elk Mills Road Elkton, MD 21921 (877) ELKFORGE


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Susie’s Story


By Patrick Miller

Photos By: Fuzzypants Photography

Susie’s story begins on May 12, 2012, in the town of Winchester, Virginia. After receiving complaints from concerned citizens about a “vermin-infested” home and possible animal hoarding, local police arrived to investigate. Receiving no answer at the door, but able to hear whimpering and smell animal urine coming from inside the building, Cpl. A. D. Enke, of the Winchester City Police Department, entered the home—where he found two dogs and ten cats barely alive and on the brink of starvation.

The foul conditions prompted the police to contact animal control, who then turned to the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties to rescue the animals. Sadly, of the two dogs, only Susie, an 8-yearold beagle, could be saved. The other dog and five of the ten cats were unfortunately too sick to survive. Susie herself was very ill, flea-ridden, and she had an ear infection. Her terrible living situation had undoubtedly caused her a tremendous amount of suffering, but she was not beyond all hope. She was eventually brought back to relative health through the efforts of the Winchester SPCA and a local veterinarian.

Dr. Bush & “Susie”

Though Susie soon recovered from the fleas and from the infection, it was clear from the way she walked and the difficulty with which she moved her tail that her back was causing her a great deal of pain. Unequipped to treat Susie for back problems and pelvic limb weakness, the SPCA contacted Dr. Bill Bush, a renowned veterinary neurologist, and the founder of the Bush Veterinary Neurology Service. Dr. Bush was quickly able to diagnose Susie with one of the worst cases of spinal cord compression he had ever encountered. Although her rescuers at the SPCA were all eager to find Susie a new home and a loving family, Dr. Bush explained that her only chance of a happy life, one free of incontinence and possible eventual paralysis, was neurosurgery. With offices in Leesburg, Springfield, and Richmond, Va., Bush Veterinary Neurology Service is the largest veterinary neurology practice in the country. The center has been instrumental in the treatment of


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

{ special feature }

thousands of sick and injured animals since its founding in 2005. It may come as a surprise to many that advanced medicine and medical technology such as neurosurgery and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to save the lives of humans and canines alike, and that, luckily for Susie and her rescuers at the Winchester SPCA, one of the leading veterinary neurology practices in the world is based so close to where Susie was found. On June 7, Susie received an MRI at Bush Advanced Veterinary Imaging, and the exact location of her spinal cord compression was revealed. It was clear to Dr. Bush that at some point in Susie’s hard life, a disc in her back had ruptured, and then continued to rupture, until the extruded disc had literally become “stuck” to the lining of her spinal cord. While these sorts of ruptures are common in most breeds of dog, beagles like Susie are, according to Dr. Bush, more genetically predisposed than other breeds to severe spinal cord compression. To preserve her quality of life, Susie needed to undergo surgery to have the ruptured disc removed. In the meantime, Susie was prescribed to three medications for her pain: Tramadol, a non-sedating opioid, Gabapentin for her nerve pain, and Meloxicam, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Typically, if this type of problem is detected early, removing the disc material is a simple “sweep and pull” procedure, but unfortunately, Susie’s case was anything but typical. Because the disc was stuck in the lining of her spinal cord, Susie required a rhizotomy, which would cut the nerve root, as well as a durectomy, in which the lining itself would be cut away in order to remove the disc material. These maneuvers are not only “atypical,” as Dr. Bush put it, but risky because they could possibly expose the spinal cord to additional trauma. Besides being risky, the surgery would also be expensive. But the staff at the Bush Veterinary Neurology Service, who had all, during the course of one month, fallen in love with Susie, not only performed the surgery for free, but reduced the costs of her care considerably, offering a 35 percent discount instead of the usual 10 percent discount that BVNS offers to shelters. The story was so inspiring that it received local news coverage, which in turn inspired a Northern Virginia man from McLean, Va., named—and this is absolutely true—Jack Russell, to do what he could for Susie. Russell, who was in town for a golf tournament, read about Susie in The Winchester Star and ended up not only donating a dog bed, toys, and treats, but covering a substantial portion of the cost of Susie’s care. The combined generosity of Russell, Dr. Bush and his team at Bush Veterinary Neurology Service, the Winchester SPCA, and other donors paid off. On

June 14, the extruding disc and disc material were successfully removed. Coming out of her surgery, the very same day, everyone at Bush Veterinary Neurology Service was delighted to see Susie up and walking. Of course, following the surgery, Susie wanted to bark and play, or as Dr. Bush aptly put it, “just wanted to be a beagle.” However, to ensure a full physical recovery, her activity had to be strictly monitored and restricted. On June 18, Susie was released and taken in by a former board member of the Winchester SPCA. Dr. Bush recommended that for the first four weeks after her surgery, Susie’s activity was to be limited to three to five daily walks for ten to fifteen minutes each to allow for moderate exercise and bathroom duties. Susie continued taking her medication, and to prevent falls and slips, was supported by a sling underneath her belly. In the weeks that followed, Susie was able to take longer walks and move with greater ease, though her foster parent made sure to keep her from overstraining herself, and they did their best to keep all four of Susie’s paws on the ground. Today, Susie is happily taken care of and pampered by her new dad George in her new and loving forever home, into which she has settled quite nicely. After a full recovery, she is back to normal activity, free to run, jump, play, and to be a beagle. George, Dr. Bush, and Jack Russell are just three of the many people whose lives have been touched by Susie and by her unwavering will to survive. Although Susie’s story is a tale of humanity, of human kindness and generosity, in the end, it is Susie and her own canine tenacity that inspired such love and altruism in her human rescuers.


Below Left: “Susie” prior to surgery. Photo courtesy of Winchester SPCA Below Right: pictured L to R: Dr. Bush, Susie’s new owner George & Susie’s Foster Mom Brenda

To learn more about the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick and Clarke Counties please visit them online at: To contact the Bush Veterinary Neurology Service, contact the Leesburg office at (703) 669-2829; the Richmond office at (804) 716-4716; and the Springfield office at (703) 451-3709; and visit them online at

Spring 2013 |


{ health }

Beggars Can’t Be Choosers! By Adriane Shell, We all know that face. The pouting, begging face with the sad, tortured eyes of our beloved pets DVM when they want something their humans are eating. Sometimes the begging is accompanied by whining, drooling, pawing, pacing, jumping, or just plain stealing. As an emergency doctor at Crossroads Animal Referral and Emergency (CARE) in Frederick, Md., I am often treating patients for the “after-effects” when begging and stealing go wrong. Many pet owners know the common “no-no’s” of giving our dogs and cats people-food, but there are less-obvious snacks that can cause serious health problems for our furry friends. Foods that are safe for human consumption can cause very serious consequences--including seizures, kidney failure, liver failure, abnormal heart rhythms, and breathing difficulties--when ingested by animals. Most foods are dose-dependent, meaning that a pet needs to eat a certain amount based on the weight of the animal to cause problems. Some foods or other toxins can cause serious health problems despite the pet ingesting a very small amount. If your pet has ingested any food or other substance not made for animal consumption, you should call your primary care veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian immediately.

Chocolate ingestion is the most common cause of food toxicity that is treated in the emergeny room, and it is a very well-known food toxin. The active ingredient in chocolate that causes toxicosis is theobromine. This is a methylxanthine alkaloid that is present in varying amounts in different types of chocolate and other foods. In general, milk chocolate has the least amount of theobromine, followed by semi-sweet, with unsweetened baking chocolate having the highest amount of toxin. What many people do not know is that methylxanthine alkaloids are also found in coffee, and other product with caffeine. Energy drinks and energy gums are becoming more common, and they can be just as lethal as chocolate. A pet that has eaten methylxanthine alkaloids will often have vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, restlessness, excessive urination, muscle tremors, abnormal heart rates, heart arrhythmias, hyperthermia (high temperature), seizures, coma and death. Vomiting and diarrhea can occur two to four hours after intake. Advanced signs (seizures, heart failure, coma and death) can occur 12 to 36 hours after intake if not treated. Patients usually recover with aggressive supportive therapy under the direction of a veterinarian, especially if treatments are initiated within the first four hours of ingestion.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

Grapes and Raisins have an unknown toxin substance that attack the kidney cells to cause kidney failure. This food is particularly scary because some animals have been known to eat grapes for years without experiencing any ill effects, while others can become very ill from eating one grape. The first signs exhibited by dogs is often vomiting and diarrhea, which can occur within a few hours from ingestion. Other signs that can indicate kidney involvement are not eating, weakness, dramatic increase in thirst or urination, and abdominal pain. Treatment and monitoring for grape and raisin ingestion or toxicosis is generally 72 hours or more.

Onions, Garlic, and Chives can cause a life-threatening condition called hemolytic anemia. This form of anemia (decreased red blood cells) occurs due to destruction of the blood cells after absorption of these foods from the GI tract and formation of Heinz bodies on the surface of red blood cells. It is not clear what quantity of onions is poisonous, but the effects can be cumulative. Often this toxicity occurs because pets have been fed foods with these ingredients during a long period of time. Poisoning can result from raw, cooked and dehydrated forms. Avoid feeding table scraps and any foods cooked with onions (including some baby foods). Signs are secondary to anemia, such as pale gums, rapid heart rate, weakness or lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody urine. Some pets require blood transfusions to replace damaged red blood cells and/or oxygen therapy.

Fruit Pits and Seeds can contain the toxin cyanide or persin. Apple seeds, cherry pits, peach pits, and plum pits contain the toxin cyanide. Signs of cyanide poisoning include skin irritation, vomiting, heavy or shallow breathing that can progress to cessation of breath, increased heart rate, heart arrhythmias, and coma. In some cases, antidotes are available. Other treatments include oxygen therapy, fluids and supportive care. The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain

BREAKING and ENTERING eleven stories by Laura Semonche Jones persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and is fatal to birds and rodents due to fluid accumulation around the heart.

Raw Eggs, Raw Meat, Fatty Foods, and Bones can cause several different types of problems. Fatty content of the meat can cause an inflammation of the pancreas that can result in serious disease of the gastrointestinal system. Raw foods can cause Salmonella and E. Coli in pets, just as they can in people. Bones can become lodged in the esophagus or injure the intestines. Pancreatitis, intestinal bacterial infections, or bone foreign bodies may lead to the need of several days of intensive in-patient hospitalization or anesthesia for endoscopy or surgery.

Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener most often found in chewing gum and candy. In dogs, it stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin, resulting in low blood sugar, liver damage and possible liver failure. Depending on the brand of gum, as few as two pieces of gum can cause illness. Signs can develop within 30 to 60 minutes and include weakness, drunken gait, collapse

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Spring 2013 |


{ health }

and seizures. Many dogs improve with supportive care if treated early enough, though liver damage can be permanent.

Macadamia Nuts can cause your dog to experience severe illness with just one handful of nuts. The actual toxin and the mechanism of action is not known. Signs include vomiting, weakness, depression, drunken gait, high temperatures, joint and muscle pain, and joint swelling. Onset of signs typically occurs within six to twelve hours of ingestion and can last up to 48 hours. Long term organ damage or death is not common, especially with treatment, but the clinical signs that these nuts cause can make your pet severely ill.

Alcoholic Beverages and Yeast Dough both contain ethanol, a seriously toxic chemical compound that causes central nervous system and respiratory depression. Even small amounts of ethanol can cause toxic effects. Signs include sedation, depression, lethargy, weakness, drunken gait and hypothermia (low body temperature). Ethanol is rapidly absorbed into the system, so it is important to seek medical attention quickly. Severe cases can lead to coma and death within hours. Yeast dough can also cause gas accumulation if the digestive system leading to intense pain and possibly rupture. The hallmark of treatment of toxicosis is decontamination and dilution. Often we induce, or cause, vomiting in the patient. Forcing vomiting should be performed under the supervision of a veterinary professional. In some cases, making the pet vomit could be more dangerous,depending on the type of toxin ingested and the state of the pet. Activated charcoal is often administered to prevent continued absorption of the product in the gastrointestinal tract. In CARE’s emergency room, we often hospitalize the pet for about 12 to 36 hours to monitor for clinical


signs, measure for changes in laboratory values, and to provide supportive care. A common therapy recommended is IV fluid therapy to support the internal organs, prevent dehydration, and dilute toxic substances in the blood stream. Some toxins have specific antidotes or treatment plans, depending on the severity or types of problems they cause. CARE’s emergency room often utilizes one of several animal poison hotline centers that are staffed with veterinary toxicologists 24 hours a day. These specialized call centers have large databases to instruct veterinarians on very specific treatment plans and recommendations based on the food or substance ingested, the weight of the animal, the time of ingestion, current patient status, and the patient’s medical history. The treatment for many different toxins (foods, medications – human or veterinary, plants, household products) varies depending on the type of toxin ingested. The most important take-home message is prevention. Crossroads Animal Referral & Emergency recommends not feeding your pets any people food. If they sneak or steal your food or ingest any substance that is not made for pets to eat, please call your family or an emergency veterinarian immediately for recommendations. Illness from the ingestion of inappropriate substances is a very preventable problem, and it is very treatable if action is taken quickly.

The Virginia–Maryland Dog

in the

coming in 2013 from Hadley Rille Books

Make Fighting SPRING Enviro Allergies Tasty Treat FUN for Everyone! This anthology directly benefits Friends of Homeless Animals, a shelter that focuses on the rescue of homeless animals in the Northern Virginia and Washington DC area.

{ alternative therapy }

Hooked on HomeopathyHandy Springtime Fixes By Deva Khalsa, VMD, CVA, FBIH

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Homeopathy cures a larger percentage of cases than any other method of treatment and is beyond doubt safer and more economical, and is the most complete medical science.” This is still true. No matter where you buy a homeopathic remedy it will have been made in the same way with the same amount of ingredients. Homeopathic remedies are approved and regulated by the FDA. They’re inexpensive, effective and easily found in many health food stores and on-line. So why don’t more people use homeopathy to treat their dogs? I believe it’s because people get a bit confused about this form of holistic health. There are a number of reasons for this. First of all, the FDA requires that one of the medical problems the remedy is good for to be listed on the bottle. One remedy can be great to use for a dozen or more common problems, but if you don’t know this and


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

you go out to get a remedy that you read about for your dog’s arthritis and find that it says on the bottle “for influenza,” you will likely be confused; I’d get confused too! But I know that this remedy is good for the flu, pneumonia, arthritis and quite a few other things. Secondly, remedies come in potencies and this indicates how many times they have been diluted. A person new to homeopathy sees the number 6x after the remedy name on the bottle and wonders, “Does this mean I have to give it six times a day, what does this mean?” It simply indicates the number of times it was diluted. You’ll easily be able to get the potencies of 6x, 30x, 6c and 30c and for your needs these potencies are interchangeable. Lastly, homeopathic remedies need to melt in the mouth and you don’t want to hide them in food. They come in nice tasting tiny sugar pellets and you simply place a few in your dog’s lip between his lip and gums and they melt. Homeopathic remedies are prepared from a wide range of animal, vegetable and mineral substances. These include insects, poisons and modern medicines such as antibiotics. Quite frankly, a homeopathic remedy can be made from just about anything; although, about 80 percent come from plants. No matter what substance a remedy is made from, because of the method of preparation, it will never have a toxic side effect. We’re all used to using conventional drugs and following instructions as to how much of them and how many times a day we need to give them to our dogs. Homeopathy is an energy medicine, thus there is not the same need to give it at exact times in exact amounts. Remedies are typically given a few times a day until the problem resolves; then the dosing schedule is reduced; finally the dosing is stopped. The name of the specific remedy is listed on the bottle. Next to the name the potency is listed (6x, 30x, 6c or 30c) which, again, indicates the number of times the remedy has been diluted.

{ alternative therapy } Homeopathic remedies are carefully selected, taking into consideration both the problem to be treated and the particular and individual way the illness presents itself in the animal or person. “Like cures like” is one of the basic axioms of homeopathy. Substances that create a set of physical problems, when made into a homeopathic remedy, alleviate or cure similar physical problems. I love having homeopathic remedies at home. I’m ready for anything that comes up. With springtime budding, let’s go over some handy remedies to have on hand for spring and summer upsets. Apis mellifica is a homeopathic remedy that is made from the common honey bee. Take just a second and think about “Like cures like”. This remedy is fantastic for treating bee stings and the swelling and edema that comes along with them. When and if your dog is bitten by a bee, you’d give this remedy every 15 minutes for an hour or two. Springtime entices us to get outside and exercise more. Some dogs can get pretty stiff after being couch potatoes all winter long.

The homeopathic remedy Arnica montana is wonderful to use for stiffness from overexertion and even bangs and bruises

Calendula ointment is a homeopathic product that can be used topically on scrapes, cuts and rashes. If your dog is into jumping and catching Frisbees, you’ll want to have the remedy Ruta graveolus on hand because it’s a fantastic remedy to fix injuries to tendons and ligaments –particularly in the knee area.

Homeopathic remedies are regulated by the FDA and easy to find both online and in most health food stores. You only need to give two or three of the tiny pellets per dose and an inexpensive bottle of a remedy lasts a long time. Homeopathic remedies have an incredibly long shelf life. Best of all, it works quickly and effectively for first-aid. I’d be thrilled if you started to use these homeopathic remedies and got hooked on homeopathy.

“Benevolent, instructive stories of the bonds between animals and humans.” -Kirkus Reviews

The Gift of Pets is a featured title on the 2012 LA TIMES Summer Reading List and in the 2013 Virginia Festival of the Book. Available from all major book retailers, Amazon. com and in ebook format for both Kindle and Nook. Get a signed copy from Dr. Coston’s website. Spring 2013 |


{ safety }

Defining Moments Sitting here on a lazy winter afternoon, looking for inspiration for an article on pet safety, one simply needs to look no further than their own family room. There is a puppy sound asleep on someone’s lap, and his fat, pink, little belly demands a tummy rub. He emits soft puppy

By Lindsey Wolko, Pet Safety Advocate

sighs as he slumbers peacefully. So trusting, so cuddly, so loveable puppies are. He has not a care in the world and that’s just as it should be. Inspiration: found. Before founding the Center for Pet Safety, I operated an online e-commerce company called Canine Commuter. The company specialized in travel products for pets, but eventually it was about much more than that. People who cherished their pets would call to ask about products, but they also loved to tell stories about their beloved companions. The more the company listened, the more the company realized that pet safety wasn’t about selling products, it was about people who loved their pets. It was actually concerned pet parents that prompted a pilot study that we conducted on travel harnesses. Few people trusted that harnesses offered much more than distraction protection. They were right. While assembling engineers and survivability experts before a pilot study, no one thought that pet product testing was a big deal. All of them assumed that manufacturers must test before bringing a safety device to market. When the second product failed, one of the engineers approached and said, “I think you may be on to something.” That changed the company’s focus. Now two years later the company’s team is working to define pet safety introducing our mission to the pet product industry in February.

nately, sometimes the company’s message is too serious for the consumer who prefers the lighter side of news. The company has the best intentions, but the message gets edited from the conversation because someone doesn’t feel that patrons can handle it. At the Center for Pet Safety, officials work to provide customers with unbiased, factual information. Early results of company research is just the start. There are many problems to solve, so the company needs to engage manufacturers constructively on customers’ behalf to have an honest discussion about what needs to be done to fix problems.

For more info

Be sure to visit for more information about pet safety restraints, crash test information (including video clips) and to donate.

As the company moves forward, officials will continue to communicate the facts--even though they may be hard to hear. The company will work for reasonable standards to protect owners and their pets. Hopefully, once the company’s efforts are successful and the big problems are solved, pet owners can all sleep as soundly as a little puppy on someone’s lap.

This journey of pet safety hasn’t been without the occasional problem. While working to make pet owners aware of the desired results of products, the company encountered a side effect of awareness--fear. Unfortunately, making consumers aware of problems, sometimes frightens them. Additionally, the company has challenged the trust that pet owners have in the pet product industry. So, how does a company balance its message to address product safety concerns? In today’s media climate, the company appreciates every opportunity to share its message with a larger audience. Unfortu-

Spring 2013 |


{ legal }

Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of War By Gary C. Norman, Esq. L.L.M.

In Flanders’s Field and many other fields abroad, countless humans owe their survival to canine service members. Should humans owe their furry partners something in return? During the time of Shakespeare, dogs may have not enjoyed as respected a place inside the home as today. Fortunately, attitudes have evolved toward animals. Section 1049 of the National Defense Authorization Act (signed into law by President Obama in January, 2013) is an example of this progressive development concerning respect for animals. Of course, there are scores of examples showing animals have helped soldiers in the military. William W. Putney, the retired commander of the 3rd War Dog Platoon that fought in the battle for Guam, recounted in the book “Always Faithful: a Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII,” tells the story of the notable service of twenty-five dogs who died in the jungles protecting their human counterparts. The book tells a story about the remarkable work of dogs in the armed forces and the need to recognize their work for the military—something that was not always done in the past. According to a web-based memorial to dogs who have worked in the armed forces, an estimated 4,000 dogs worked in Vietnam. Some accounts note that they saved about 10,000 American servicemen through scouting and sentry duties. As Americans evacuated Vietnam for the final time, hundreds of service were stranded, and many were euthanized. The 2012 film “Zero Dark Thirty,” about the raid to capture Osama bin Laden, depicts the canine member of the Navy Seals who helped in the raid.

Legislation introduced to address animal-related issues is not always pork, although some legislators tend to scoff at animal-related bills. The Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act, which was introduced as part of a larger bill, is certainly not a pork barrel item. For example, a section of the National Defense Authorization Act amends Title 10 of the U.S. Code, and provides the following laws:

1. Canines are not to be considered equipment, and the law reclassifies dogs as canine members of the armed forces. 2. The secretary of the appropriate military service is authorized to transport any canine warrior back to the 341st Training Squadron or elsewhere for adoption. 3. The secretary of the Defense Department is authorized to accept travel premiums, such as frequent flyer miles, to provide for the return of dogs from facilities abroad.

4. The Defense secretary can contract with a private nonprofit to operate a system for providing veterinary care to retired military dogs.

Recognizing the heroics and service of canine members of the armed services is overdue, some people believe. The Defense Authorization Act addresses formal recognition of the service of canine members, and states, “The secretary of Defense may authorize the recognition of military working dogs that are killed, wounded, or missing in action and military working dogs that perform an exceptionally meritorious or courageous act in service to the United States.” When military dogs come home, they may have a second career. They can work as companion animals for veterans, or assistance dogs for wounded soldiers. Many wounded soldiers need of well-trained


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

assistance dogs, such as guide dogs. A panel discussion is scheduled to occur in April, 2013, in Annapolis as part of the Repast and Repartee Series of the Mid-Atlantic Lyceum, and the topic is matching dogs with wounded soldiers. The Defense Authorization Act notes what many people have recognized for decades—that military dogs are not equipment, they can be considered heroes by some, and they are always ready to work. Assistance dogs only have a finite time to work. Sometimes, handlers of guide dogs cannot keep their dogs in retirement. Handlers often transfer their dogs to a third party, sometimes known by the handler. Sometimes people who train guide dogs take the retired military dogs. There are many instances in which people have successfully adopted guide dogs, and the experience is a positive one for the dog and the new owner. There can be challenges, too—even today, with great success in many areas with increasing access to guide dogs, there remain obstacles at some establishments. But despite such obstacles, owners have found that having a retired guide dog is a positive, enriching, learning experience.

Emphasizing Wellness and Geriatric Care 540-667-4290 274 Linden Drive Winchester, VA 22601

Spring 2013 |


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“To feel pain or not to feel pain,

that is the question...”


By Krisi Erwin, DVM, CVA, CCRT


This month, I would like to take a break from our “Vetside Chats” and take a minute to discuss pain management in dogs.  Pain can stem from arthritis changes that come with aging, which are secondary to acute injuries such as a cruciate ligament tear, or secondary to illnesses such as obesity, chronic ear infections, or diabetes.  Recognizing pain is difficult, and it can be challenging for pet parents.  The following is a look at common questions dealing with pain management in dogs.

“Doctor, my dog is not crying, so he isn’t in pain, right?” A common misunderstanding is that animals cry to show that they are in pain. The truth is that animals tend to be quiet about pain. They tend to vocalize only when the pain becomes unbearable. Pets evolved from wild animals, and it can be a survival instinct to be reserved and to refrain from showing signs of illness, weakness, or pain. 

“How do I tell if my pet is in pain?”

Each pet is an individual, and pain tolerance is different for each animal. Much of doctors’ pain assessment relies on an owner’s knowledge of their dog and his or her habits. Here are some common signs of pain that often go unrecognized: ƒƒ Lack of grooming ƒƒ Restlessness at night ƒƒ Sleeping more, or sleeping less ƒƒ A change in appetite ƒƒ A decreased desire to play ƒƒ A general lack of interest ƒƒ Changing body position frequently while laying or sleeping

ƒƒ An inability to get up or down stairs, a couch or bed, and an inability to get into or out of a car ƒƒ Flinching, acting startled or acting like they might bite when someone tries to pet them ƒƒ Vocalizing, growling, whining or crying


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

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“My dog is old so he isn’t as playful anymore, or he or she can no longer get into the car—but he isn’t painful.” Remember, age is not a disease! Pain can, and will, keep pets from living the lives they used to live. Proper pain management for pets can help them to maintain their normal activities and their normal, daily living--no matter how old they are.

“I do recognize signs of pain in my pet—what do I do?” When doctors assess and treat pain, it is important to try and differentiate acute pain from chronic pain. Acute pain is secondary to surgery or sudden injuries, such as a sprain or strain, a cut, or a fight wound. In these instances, pain provides a protective service to the body and reminds victims to stay away from whatever caused the pain. Pain also restricts activity so victims can heal.    When pain goes beyond the acute phase, there is a transition to chronic pain. Chronic pain does not benefit the body. Instead, it causes events that can lead to lowered immune response, increased cortisol (stress hormone), promotion of chronic inflammation, decreased gut motility, changes in mood that may lead to depression, and an overall decreasing quality of life.   

the ability to request or deny pain medication. Owners should remember that chronic pain- has no protective or beneficial value for dogs, and it greatly decreases their quality of life. Talk to vets about whether or not medications are indicated to get a pet’s pain under control quickly. Then, an owner can decide whether to rely on a different course of action, such as acupuncture, massage, or rehabilitation therapy to try and manage pain while minimizing the amount of medications needed.    Some commonly used medications to treat chronic pain include non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as Rimadyl, Metacam, or Previcox; Tramadol; Gabapentin; and Amantadine. Each of these medicines have their own mechanism of action in the body, and their own varying risks of side effects. They can be used individually or with one another to help provide a more complete pain control plan than by just using one medication. Doctors can reduce the risk of side effects by monitoring lab work to ensure there are no problems that would make the medications unsafe, being cautious in using doses, and being smart in how they apply medications. If a veterinarian isn’t familiar or comfortable with these medications, he or she can consult with a certified veterinary pain practitioner, the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (www., or an orthopedic surgeon.  

A multi-modal approach to treating pain combines conventional treatments, such as pain medications, with complementary techniques such as acupuncture, massage, or rehabilitation medicine. Picture the pain pathway in the body as a wagon wheel. There are many different mechanisms, or spokes, that act as pathways for pain signals to reach the brain at the center of that wheel. Each of these spokes gives the victim an opportunity to block the pain signal before it reaches the brain, and allows owners to keep their dogs more comfortable. By treating multiple spokes on the wheel, doctors can treat pain more completely and provide better relief for dogs.

“Are there other options for my pet besides medication? What else can I do?”

“What kind of medications do you recommend?”

Acupuncture: Acupuncture can be performed with needles, injections of different vitamins or homeopathics, massage, or therapeutic laser. Acupuncture, according to some practitioners, creates changes in the body to help provide pain relief through the release of endorphins, by improving circulation to areas that need to heal, and by relieving muscle knots. More information about acupuncture is available from the Interna-

Many human medications, such as Tylenol, Advil, aspirin or Aleve can be toxic to dogs--so don’t try to treat pets without consulting with a veterinarian first. Many pet owners worry about the risk and safety of pain medications. However, dogs do not have

Conventional medications are only one spoke in the wheel that we can use for treating pain. There are many complementary therapies that owners can use to help keep their dogs comfortable. With chronic pain, doctors need to look at several options, so owners can keep dogs as comfortable and pain-free as possible. Here are several examples of what dog owners can do: 

Spring 2013 |


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tional Veterinary Acupuncture Society (www.ivas. org), and the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (   Rehabilitation: Painful dogs do not move their limbs normally. This can lead to muscle shortening due to spasms and lack of use. Working with a rehabilitation therapist may help to restore flexibility and allow the muscles to return to their normal length so your pet can be more comfortable. You can also use an exercise plan to maintain your dog’s strength and function. More information about pet rehabilitation is available from the Canine Rehabilitation Institute, at   Massage: Massage can be offered by certified pet massage therapists, but it is also something that you can do at home to help sore muscles, improve circulation, and to have that special bonding time with your pet. A rehabilitation therapist may help to teach owners how to conduct a massage, but there are also DVDs and books available, including “Bodywork for Dogs,” by Lynn Vaughan and Deborah Jones, and “A Dog Lover’s Guide to Canine Massage,” by Jody Chiquoine and Linda Jackson that will help to teach you what to do. In general, anything that you think would feel good will likely help your pet. However, stay away from fracture sites and tumors. 


Weight management: Obesity is one of the leading causes of chronic pain and inflammation. Abdominal fat in itself secretes inflammatory mediators in the body that can lead to chronic pain. Increased strain on the joints can lead to osteoarthritis. Working with a veterinarian or rehabilitation therapist to get a dog a nutritional and exercise program will help to reduce troubles due to obesity. A study done by Purina showed that even a 10 percent decrease in caloric intake increased a pet’s lifespan. More information on pet obesity is available at and   Environmental Management: Debilitated, painful dogs need more help around the house to stay safe and perform their normal activities of daily living. Owners should think about their house from a pet’s perspective, to try and find ways to make it easier for them to get around. Something as simple as using rubber-backed area rugs can make a huge difference to keep your pet from slipping. A comfortable, orthopedic foam bed can really help to soothe and comfort uncomfortable joints. Limiting stairs or keeping your pet on a leash while on the stairs can help to give your dog the confidence he or she needs to use the stairs without falling. Also, the use of assistive products such as the Help ‘em Up Harness (www. can help owners help their dogs use their bodies in a more normal way. Tips for environmental management are available at www.  


Pet ownes should check their dogs every day and ask: How does he or she move around the house? What is the pet’s mood and demeanor? Are any signs of pain evident? If pet owners do see signs of pain, they should consult with their veterinarian to what options are applicable. Owners need to remember that their pets cannot ask for pain management. It is the responsibility and duty of pet owners to implement a multi-pronged approach to pain management to help ensure that pets stay as comfortable as possible. Age is not a disease. Pets, as well as people, just need a little bit of extra help as their bodies change through the years. Even the littlest change and consideration can go a long way in helping to promote the best possible quality of life for four-legged friends!


The Virginia–Maryland Dog


{ ask dr. katy }

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By Katy Nelson, DVM


Dr. Katy

Editor’s note: This is the debut of what will be a regular question-and-answer column in The Virginia-Maryland Dog Magazine. Please submit questions to the magazine via Facebook or the e-mail address Due to the high volume of submissions, Dr. Katy regrets that all questions cannot be answered in the column.

Dear Dr. Katy: I have a 14-year-old Sheltie who seems to be “going downhill.” How do I know that the time is right to have that difficult conversation with my veterinarian? –Sincerely, Ellen, from Vienna, Va.

Dear Ellen:

This is probably the most painful time of life for a pet owner. Unfortunately, any of us who have ever loved a pet have faced this. I know that this answer may seem trite, but what I have learned from my twelve years of practice, and my numerous years

as a pet owner, is that you will just know. There will come a time when you will look into your beloved pet’s eyes and see that his or her spirit has diminished, or that pain has overtaken him or her. That is the time when that conversation with your veterinarian must take place. Your veterinarian will compassionately walk you through the process, and help you to make the decision at the correct time. My best advice? Love her enough to ease her suffering, and you will make the right decision when you need to.

Dear Dr. Katy: We have just adopted a new dog named Henry, and the transition into the home has been very difficult. Our older dog, Boomer, and Henry have had a few scuffles. Henry panics when we leave, and he destroys things such as shoes, furniture and rugs. My wife and I are getting very frustrated, but we don’t want to give up on him yet. What can we do? –Sincerely, Paul, from Gaithersburg, Md.

Dear Paul:


The Virginia–Maryland Dog


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Congratulations on your new addition, and for choosing to adopt rather than shop! It’s exciting when a pet owner brings home a new pet. When reality sets in, though, owners often have to make adjustments to their expectations. The best thing that an owner can do is start a training regimen immediately. If Henry panics when you leave, you need to give him a place to feel safe and secure while you’re gone. By providing him with a crate in a quiet, well-ventilated place, and teaching him that this is his haven, you give him the security he needs to feel comfortable, while protecting him, and your home, from himself. Start basic obedience com-


You can follow her on Twitter @drkatynelson, on Facebook or send her an e-mail at

Got Moose?

mands for both dogs, so you can re-train them to look to you for what behavior is acceptable, rather than just reacting and doing what comes naturally. You should also get the help of an experienced professional trainer. They will assist with the training process; assess the personalities of your dogs; and help them to learn in the most effective manner. You don’t have to break your dogs’ spirits to have well-trained dogs. Actually, the opposite is true. By teaching your dog’s proper behavior, and rewarding them when they behave appropriately, you create confident dogs that are a joy for everyone to be around.

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Tune in to “The Pet Show” with Dr. Katy every Saturday at 11 a.m. on Washington, D.C.’s News Channel 8, listen on WTOP for her Dr. Pawz segments every two weeks, and read her blog on WTOP Living every week.

Winter/Holiday 2012



Volume 3 •Issue


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Spring 2013 |


ited for change

After of “Taco” by Karen Weiler

Before of “Taco” by Karen Weiler

Maltese After by Jennifer Froh

Maltese Before by Jennifer Froh

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HeARTs Speak— Shelter Change through Photography By Charlene Logan Burnett Photos by Jennifer Froh; Jenny Froh Photography & Karen Weiler; Posh Pet Photograpy

How did you come to find your dog—your best friend who is there at the door when you open it, who wants to go on errands with you, even if it’s just to get gas, and who loves you, unconditionally, in each and every moment, no matter how off-kilter the rest of your world may seem? Nowadays, many people find the dog they will eventually adopt through an online photograph, as they scan past a myriad of images from local animal shelters or rescue groups on Internet sites such as and Facebook. At large, overcrowded, underfunded shelters, a photograph is often all that stands between these frightened, confused dogs and euthanasia if no one falls in love with them in three to five days. A photograph has the power to change a dog’s destiny. Unfortunately, many shelter workers who take these photographs have no training in how to capture a compelling image. A grainy photograph of a bewildered dog, standing in front of a gray wall with a slip lead leash around his neck, does not fairly portray an individual dog and his spirit. HeARTs Speak, a network of artists dedicated to reducing the staggering number of adoptable animals euthanized each year, has launched a shelter and community education initiative. As a first step, the HeARTs Speak Perfect Exposure Project will work with two of the largest high-kill shelters in the country. These shelters will receive digital SLR cameras, additional lenses, lighting equipment, and backdrops. A team of HeARTs Speak photographers and educators will present a two-day workshop, training shelter staff and volunteers how to best photograph animals for adoption utilizing the equipment provided. The workshops will be filmed and made into a training

The Virginia–Maryland Dog

video that will be shared with shelter workers and animal advocates across the globe. HeARTs Speak is a partner-based organization committed to working with members, other organizations, and the community to find solutions to save animals’ lives. It’s appropriate that the first steps in HeARTs Speak’s shelter and community education initiative was funded by BarkBox, a subscription-based dogproduct company. BarkBox was looking for an innovative game-changing project that could dramatically impact the lives of neglected dogs. Through their social media contest, The Hugo Challenge, they selected three nominated finalist and then asked people to vote daily for their top choice. Voting went viral, and HeARTs Speak was awarded the top $10,000 seed money. In the spirit of The Hugo Challenge, HeARTs Speak invites people everywhere to participate in the Perfect Exposure Project. Beginning March 25, 2013, you can cast a vote daily for your choice among five high-volume shelters. Two winning shelters will be announced on April 13. For guidelines and information, visit HeARTs Speak believes that by working together, we can change the number of animals unnecessarily euthanized each year. Help us give homeless dogs in our communities the chance to become someone’s best friend. Together, change happens.

{ stories within the bond }

Prissy The Stoner Prissy greeted me with the good nature I had come to expect from her. She is a twentypound mixed-breed dog with wiry, highlighted hair. Though she is ten years old, the attentive care she gets has pushed back the advance of age. She’s lean and fit with gleaming white teeth and no sign of arthritis, heart murmurs

Within an hour I had results from the diagnostic tests. Surprisingly, the urinalysis was normal except for a bit of blood, lacking the white cells and bacteria I expected with an infection. When I placed the ultrasound probe on her belly, concerned I would see a tumor lurking there, I saw instead a stone flopping around when Prissy changed positions. X-rays confirmed the stone in the bladder, but showed none in the kidneys or urethra. The blood work was completely normal.

By Bruce Coston, DVM This article is the first within a series to be written by Dr. Bruce Coston entitled Stories within the Bond.

or other age-related maladies. Prissy is one of my favorite patients. When she sees me she wiggles and squirms trying to land a kiss on my cheek, her face smiling and her tail flagging so hard that it engages her rump as well. The person at the loop end of Prissy’s leash is another reason Prissy is a favorite. Now retired, Pauline keeps busy by taking Prissy, who is a certified therapy dog, to area nursing homes and hospitals to bring cheer to the patients. Pauline’s eyes were round with concern as I turned to her. “I saw red in the snow and it scared me,” Pauline said, her voice mirroring the expression of near panic on her face. “She’s peeing all the time; asking to go out every half hour or more. And she’s had an accident or two on the floor which is not like her at all.” “It sounds like a routine urinary tract infection, Pauline.” My attempts at reassurance did nothing to stop Pauline from wringing her hands. I knew why she was so concerned. I thought back to the first dog Pauline had brought to me with similar symptoms. That was twenty years ago, and it had taken us several weeks and a referral to the veterinary school before a bladder tumor was diagnosed. By that time it was too late to treat, and the battle was lost before it had even begun. Pauline’s fidgeting proved that the memory haunted her as well.

Though Prissy may not agree, it was a relatively simple thing to remove the knobby, rust-colored thing from her bladder. By the end of the day, she was stone free, if a bit groggy. Analysis revealed the stone, only about the size of a very fat nickel, to be formed of calcium oxalate. It was one which hopefully can be prevented from recurring, with a change in diet and careful monitoring for crystals and pH changes in the urine. Prissy is fortunate to own a person who will follow my recommendations religiously. Much has changed in the twenty years since I treated Pauline’s first dog. I never would have dreamed then that I would be able to have an in-house laboratory and an ultrasound machine that allow me to have the diagnosis in hand and the preoperative blood work done within an hour. The advances we’ve made in veterinary medicine since then allowed me to relieve Prissy’s suffering much faster. What has not changed is the strength of the bond that unites dogs and people. It is my privilege as a veterinarian to be tied up in those bonds, observing the breadth and depth of them from a very intimate perspective. The relationships I see every day are sometimes funny, sometimes touching, sometimes sad; but always as powerful and rich as those between Prissy and Pauline. Join me each issue as I bring you inside my world and shine a light on the relationships that make my work so fulfilling.

Dodging Prissy’s attempts to coat my glasses with saliva, I examined her from head to tail, focusing my attention on her urinary tract. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, other than a subtle discomfort when I squeezed her bladder. I suggested we get some urine for evaluation, some blood to rule out any metabolic issues, do a quick ultrasound of the bladder, and snap an x-ray.

Spring 2013 |


{ seeking a forever home }

Seeking A

Forever Home


Misha is a teacup-size female Great Dane full of puppy mischief. Her owner surrendered her to the rescue at the age of 5 months. She loves going on her daily walks, taking car rides, and playing outdoors. A home with an older, mellow dog (rather than a high-energy dog) would be ideal for Misha. She would be most comfortable in a low-key, laid back home. Her ideal family will have the time, love, and patience dedicated to her continued development, training and medical treatment. Breed/Mix: Great Dane Approximate Weight: 88 lbs Approximate Age: 17 Months Activeness: Moderate to high Good w/Other Dogs: Yes, does well with older, confident, stable dogs be cause she is not socially experienced and takes her cues from more experienced dogs. Cats: Unknown Good w/Children: Yes, but ideally older children who are Dane savvy. Like most young Great Danes she’s unaware of her size and may knock down or hit a small child with her tail. Housebroken: Yes Medical Issues: Diagnosed with Bipedal Hip Dysplasia, Luxating Patella (knee slips out of joint) Arthritis, and Scoliosis. Surgery was not viable while her bones were still growing and her muscular skeletal system still developing. Future hip surgery may be required. Feeding Issues: None Special Needs: She gets supplements, Adequan injections, massages, occasional laser therapy session, and physical therapy (PT) exercises done at home. Regular walks and PT exercises are extremely important to maintain muscle mass and her quality of life due to her orthopedic issues. Vaccinations: Up to Date, HW negative, spayed Fun Facts: She enjoys counter surfing and is talented at finding any thing that is off limits, so puppy proofing is essential for any new family! She also enjoys playing with her jolly ball and lounging on the dog couch or on a well-padded dog bed

Great Dane Rescue of the Commonwealth (GDROC) is a non-profit 501c3 organization completely run by volunteers. The Rescue’s goal is to rehabilitate Great Danes who are no longer wanted by placing them in foster and then rehoming them by carefully screening potential adopters. Prior to adopHelpcare Save a Life tion, each dog is examined and receives medical treatment such as: vaccinations and Adopt – Foster – Volunteer sterilization. In addition to rescuing Danes in VA, the rescue aims to educate the public Help Wanted: Fosters! about the breed and how to properly care for a Great Dane. Each time a family fosters, a Great Dane is

Great Dane Rescue of the Commonwealth Photography by Rob Cordosi Photography


given a second chance at nourishment, medical care,The shelter, a bed and a family. rescue does not

have a physical location; all rescued Danes are fostered in indiWithout foster homes, GDROC cannot help homeless Danes. Each time Expenses may be tax deductible. GDROC someone agrees to foster, another Dane is saved and given a chance at having a wonderpays all veterinary care. It’s a temporary adopting, fostering, volunteering or donating to help save a life. Visit the situation. Youful helplife. save Consider a life. website at OR on Facebook:/greatdanerescueofthecommonwealth homes. Rewards ofvidual Fostering:

GDROC rescues and rehomes Great Danes in The Virginia–Maryland southeastern Virginia.

Join us and make


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Adoption of a Great Dane... Things You Should Know.

If you are thinking about owning a Great Dane—a friendly, lovable dog affectionately known as

By Brenda Sickles

the Gentle Giant—mealtime can be critical, as Great Danes must eat a high-quality diet in raised food dishes, and an adult must eat two equal-size meals (morning and evening), while puppies eat three times a day for the first year. Additionally, the puppy’s food must have a specific calcium-to-phosphorous ratio and specific fat and protein percentages to prevent rapid growth, which can cause orthopedic complications. Puppies eat 10 to 14 cups of food per day, tapering off to four to six cups per day as an adult. Like most large-sized dogs, Great Danes have a slow metabolism; therefore, adults do not consume as much food as expected, in proportion to their size. The adults must eat in raised food dishes to prevent neck and spine injuries and an extra air intake. These complications could cause bloat or gastric dilatation volvulus, also known as GDV.

and short hair with no undercoat. Since they do not possess multiple layers of fur to protect them from outdoor elements, they are indoor dogs, and they need to be a part of the family.

In addition to these important dietary concerns, it is important to know in advance that as with any large breed, Great Danes can sometimes, depending on the respective dog’s temperament, test boundaries, rules and limitations! Therefore, obedience training is required. When young (until the age of 2), it is best to crate-train to avoid destructive and unwanted behavior. Like any dog, Great Danes require daily exercise for health and longevity, with enough room to run and play. They’re boisterous when young (1-3 years old), with an average activity level as adults (three to six years old). Too much liquid in the stomach prior to exercise can cause GDV. Their short hair needs occasional brushing. They need bathing bi-monthly, and their huge, thick nails need to be trimmed weekly, to keep them short and manageable. Their large ears must be cleaned weekly to prevent yeast infections.

Contrary to the history of being a working dog decades ago, today you might find a Great Dane sitting on a couch, chair or soft surface. As peopleoriented dogs, they desire human companionship. A comical classic Dane pose is just their rump on a lap, or couch cushion, with front feet on the ground in front of them. Another notable pose is leaning on the nearest human for affection.

A Great Dane puppy doesn’t stay small long----for several months, they can gain up to a pound a day. They grow to full adult height within one year, while still having the intelligence and impulse control of a puppy! An adult Great Dane has an intimidating appearance due to its large stature. Males stand 32 to 39 inches tall at the shoulders, and they weigh 120 to 200 pounds. Females stand 28 to 32 inches tall, and weigh 100 to 150 pounds. They have large, loose jowls that can produce slobber and drool. Many have large floppy ears, a box shaped head,

The Great Dane appeared in Europe in the fifth century, and the breed most likely came to fruition from the breeding of a mastiff to an Irish Grey Hound, and, eventually, to Irish Wolfhounds. The desire was to create better boar hunters and guardians. Today’s Great Dane originated in Germany, and the breed is also known as Deutsche Dogge or German Mastiff.

Known as the Gentle Giant, the Great Dane is friendly, and most Danes have a great disposition with humans and animals. Great Dane owners are generally loyal to the breed, and many owners have more than one in a household. Homes with Danes commonly have toy boxes in several rooms because Danes love toys and stuffed animals. They will hunt for a specific toy at the bottom of the toy box!

Due to a Great Dane’s extra-large size, everything for their care and feeding is more expensive than it is for other breeds. Great Danes are prone to health conditions, like all large breed dogs, and they have a short lifespan--typically 8 to 12 years. Common ailments are heart disease, cancer, hip dysplasia, tail injuries, also known as “happy tail,” gastric torsion and bloat, wobbler syndrome, hypertrophic osteodystrophy, hypothyroidism and Addison’s disease.

Spring 2013 |


For more info regarding the adoption of a Great Dane, please visit


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SATURDAY JUNE 29th, 2013 Run starts at 8:00 am Walk starts at 8:30 am

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Middleburg Humane Foundation

A farm shelter specializing in the rescue & rehabilitation of abused, neglected, and “at risk” animals, both large & small.

The Middleburg Humane Foundation (MHF) has embarked on a Capital Campaign fundraising project to raise $3,000,000 to build an entire new farm shelter facility on 23-acres that was generously donated to MHF by Zohar and Lisa Ben- Dov. This land is located 2 miles from our current farm, just west of the town of Marshall, VA. Although we love our current 4-acre farm shelter, the demand for assistance has quadrupled over the years and we have outgrown our facility. The new farm shelter will provide a state of the art Spay/Neuter Clinic, Small Animal Adoption Center, Grooming Salon, Humane Education Center and an Equine and Livestock Rescue Facility all capable of accommodating our growing needs. Zoning and land planning are now in process. Please contact MHF if you would like to be a part of this exciting new chapter!

Visit our website for info on the animals pictured here & other available animals. PO Box 1238 Middleburg VA 20118 540-364-3272

We offer a wide variety of services including: • Daily dog walking and pet sitting • Overnight pet sitting • Pet transportation • Farm sitiing • House sitting • Yard pick- up and more!

Serving Frederick City & Frederick County

P.O. Box 451, Jefferson, MD 21755

ph. 301.473.8188 | fx. 301.358.3799

WHICH SOLID GOLD DOG FOOD IS RIGHT FOR YOUR DOG? Asian dogs, arctic dogs and dogs from England, Scotland, Ireland and all water dogs, i.e., labs, poodles, etc., were fed fish in their diets for hundreds of years. They were also fed sea vegetation, like our Solid Gold SeaMeal. Without fish and sea vegetation, you are not supporting the DNA. The dogs will lick their feet and scratch. All Solid Gold dog and cat foods are fish-based. Our all-natural pet products are vacuum-sealed for freshness. Clip off a corner of the bag, take out dry kibble and seal with clothespins. Do not empty out bag into another container; emptying out exposes the food to air. Solid Gold is animal/chicken fat free. We use no peanuts. In the fall of 2012, some dog foods containing peanuts were voluntarily recalled for salmonella contamination. Usually peanuts in dog food are the hulls.

Barking at the Moon, 41% protein, beef and fish, low carbs. Excellent for epilepsy, diabetes, quick energy. Ideal for sporting, hunting, agility.

Hund-N-Flocken. Adult 22% protein Hundchen Flocken puppy is 28% protein. Lamb and fish. First natural dog food in the U.S. introduced in 1975. Was top seller in Germany since 1950’s.

MMillennia. Beef and fish 22% protein. Bulk-up diet. Can alternate with Barking at the Moon if dog loses weight in activity.

The Cute Story Eighteen and a half years ago, Sissy, the owner of Solid Gold, was given a Dane mix to foster. Her mother was a black Dane. Her father was a traveling man. She was about three months old. Sissy already had an adult Dane and was fostering two more adult Danes. So what’s another dog! Sissy took the little dog to the vet to get it fixed. The vet asked her name. She didn’t have one, so the vet wrote down BB for Black Bitch. She became BB. She got all her puppy shots there. A month later, the man returned to pick up the “foster.” “You can’t take my dog. She found a forever home,” he was told. BB remained with Sissy for 18 1/2 years. In November, she was taken to the vet for her 18th birthday for a wellness checkup. This was only her second trip since she never received any other shots but the puppy shots. She was fine. The vet couldn’t believe this was the same Dane mix he had spayed 18 years before. “What are you feeding?” he asked. “Solid Gold, of course, Sissy replied Six months later, BB went to sleep and crossed the Rainbow Bridge. She has been fed Solid Gold SunDancer dry dog food for the last eight years of her life, and Solid Gold Sea Meal all her life. Danes don’t live that long. BB did. You are what you eat, the vet said. How true for Solid Gold.

Wolf King, 22% protein. Wolf Cub, 26% protein. Just a Wee Bit is 28% protein. Contains Bison and fish. Just Wee Bit for all life stages. Small kibble for small mouths. First bison dog food in the U.S.

SunDancer, chicken and fish, 30% protein Introduced in 2010. Exceptional diet for allergic dogs. We use curcumin/turmeric, chia, quinoa, tapioca, cranberries for bladder stones.

Solid Gold Holistic Animal Nutrition Center 1331 N. Cuyamaca, El Cajon, CA 92020

Ask your local pet store for a free catalogue. If they don’t have a SunDancer catalogue, call us at (619) 258-7356, M-F, 10am to 5pm Pacific time. Or e-mail us at You can also visit our website at

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The Virginia-Maryland Dog is provided as a quarterly print magazine, as well as an extensively designed website www.thevirginia-marylanddog....

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