The Animal Hospital of Lynchburg

1705 Memorial Avenue
Lynchburg, VA 24501


Spring Is on the way along with Fleas and Ticks - 03/01/2017

Spring is just around the corner, so with it comes the pests of the warmer weather, that's right, Fleas and Ticks!!

Here at the Animal Hospital of Lynchburg, we recommend using prevention all year round!! In southwest Virginia you all know we have mild winters, temps ranging from the 20's (but rarely) to those unpredictable 70's. Those pesky fleas and ticks love those warm days as much as we do!

  Fleas are a problem year-round in warmer climates that rarely dip to the freezing mark, but some pet owners welcome colder weather because they believe it kills the pests. Unfortunately, that's not necessarily true. Extended freezing temperatures can kill fleas, but they have found ways to survive in cold climates, at all life stages, Fleas can't survive temperature above 95 degrees, and below 35 . The low-end extreme for developing larvae is 55.4°F. During the winter, adult fleas can survive in cold temperatures while living on a warm-bodied host.

Ticks are all around us even in the winter, some are just not as active in the colder months. They can be active on winter days when the ground temperatures are above 45 degrees. A common tick called the deer tick, which carries Lyme disease, can be active in their adult stage from fall to spring as long as the temperature is above freezing which it is often here in Lynchburg.

To keep fleas and ticks under control, a monthly preventive should be used.

We recommend and use on our own pets NexGard for our dogs and Revolution and Frontline for our cats. (choice is depending on your cats lifestyle)

NexGard (afoxolaner) soft chew is a FDA- approved and proven safe for use in dogs. It contains an ingredient, afoxolaner, that helps treat and control fleas and ticks and keeps killing them for a full 30 days.

Afoxolaner enters the blood stream and does not penetrate to the surrounding tissues so fleas and ticks DO need to bite your pet to be affected by the medication. Fleas are typically killed within several hours, while ticks are killed within 1-2 days. It is important to note that Nexgard does not repel ticks. In some cases this means biting and attaching to your dog for up to 48 hours. The tick should be killed before they are attached to your pet long enough to transmit disease. Nexgard is proven to kill all tick species seen in this area including deer ticks, dog ticks and lone star ticks. It can be used on Dogs only, that are 8 weeks of age and a minimum of 4 pounds.

Another reason we love NexGard is the Satisfaction Plus Guarantee they offer. If for any reason you're not completely satisfied with the product, you may be eligible for a refund, product replacement or a one-time free home inspection and in home treatment by Terminix, if necessary. Merial only offers this when you buy NexGard from us and with consistent use for a minimum of 3 months in a row.

Revolution (selamectin) for cats is a topical monthly dose that provides protection against 5 different parasites. Fleas, Heartworms, Roundworms, Hookworms and Ear mites.

It is a monthly topical application that dries quickly. There is no separation period required after administration. REVOLUTION is safe in breeding, pregnant, lactating, and heartworm-positive cats and kittens 8 weeks and older.

Revolution enters the bloodstream through the skin, where it penetrates the tissues to prevent heartworm disease and treat any hookworm or roundworm infections. It also distributes from the blood and tissues to provide protection from fleas, flea eggs and ear mites. Over 98 percent of fleas are killed within a 36-hour period.

Frontline Plus Feline- is a monthly topical flea and tick preventative for cats. Frontline Plus contains an insect growth regulator, S-methoprene, which kills flea eggs and larvae.

Once frontline is applied, it stores itself in the oil glands in your pet's skin.  FRONTLINE Plus begins killing fleas 4 hours after application, and kills 100% fleas within 24 hours, chewing lice and ticks within 48 hours. It must first spread in the oils of the skin, over the pet's body. It then self-distributes continuously for 1 month to your pet's hair and skin through the hair follicles. This process, called translocation, and is complete in about 24 hours.

 Most of the above products are a prescription product, which do require an up to date yearly exam. Contact our office and get your pet on prevention before it becomes a problem, remember just because your pet might be an indoor only pet, fleas and ticks are still a concern. All year prevention is key.

 Once your pet is infected it is a painstaking chore to try to get rid of them. It does take a minimum of 3 months to break the flea life cycle, the adult fleas that you are seeing are the tip of the iceberg, its what you cant see, the other 3 stages of the flea life cycle that is a concern as well. Fleas eggs are to small to be seen without magnification. They fall off of your pet and into your carpet or floors. Eggs make up 50% of the flea population. When the fleas are in the cocoon stage of life they can survive up to almost 150 days, during this time they are resistant to insecticides. If your pet is only treated one time over the next couple of months fleas will hatch and not be killed. They will bite your pet and lay more eggs.
 After the first meal of the newly emerged female flea, she can begin egg production within 36 to 48 hours, and a single flea can produce up to 50 eggs per day. This can continue for as many as 100 days, meaning that 1 single flea, may produce up to 5,000 eggs in her lifetime.  Flea shampoos, sprays and powders will only kill the fleas that are on your pet at that time, these products done have a lasting effect so that the fleas in the environment are not affected. So as soon as you bath your pet, they will be clean, but then when they return to their bed or even yours, the fleas will jump back on them and start biting again.  Bottom line is prevention is the best medicine. If you keep your pet on it, you wont have a problem! Most of our calls during the spring/summer time is from owners that are already seeing adult fleas, if your pet stays on it all year round, you wont be calling us for help when it's already to late.  We have many promotions that we offer on flea and tick prevention,  so call our office and see how we can save you money as you protect your pet from the pest that they hate the most.




February Is National Pet Dental Health Month - 01/31/2017

Has Fido been giving stinky kisses lately? Does your kitty drool a lot? These could be tell tale signs of something more serious going on with your pets dental health. That's why we designate February as Dental Health Month.

Were humans are bothered by cavities, tartar build up is one often the culprits for our pets. Studies report that 60-80% of dogs and cats have some kind of oral disease by age 3.

In the early stages of dental disease, many of the problems may be reversible. The prognosis is worsened if tartar is left on the teeth indefinitely. Dental disease is an often overlooked problem in all pets, and if left untreated, tarter and plaque can lead to infection or  painful periodontal disease. The potential damage can affect not only your pets teeth and gums, but the internal organs as well. Kidney and heart infections frequently begin in the mouth.

A key player in how much tartar builds upon the teeth is individual chemistry in the mouth. Every dog and cat are different, just like you and I. Some people don't have any cavities when they go to the dentist yearly, and others have to go every 6 months with a cavity at every visit.  Some pets need dental cleanings every year, while others need one every few years.

 Some known contributing factors for dental disease in cats are the feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Our canine friends can develop dental issues as a consequence of other serious diseases as well. This is why yearly exams are very important so that Dr. Jean and Dr. Rick can determine whether the problem is limited to the oral cavity or is a symptom of something else.

Diagnosis of dental disease is usually straight forward, but most times the extent of the disease isn't truly determined until your pet is under anesthesia.  At that time, Dr. Jean can look at all sides of the teeth as well as the ones in the very back, even looking under the tongue and the roof of the mouth where its hard to see while they are awake.

Here are the steps that we use here at our hospital during your pets dental procedure while they are under anesthesia:

  1. Scaling- this removes the tartar from below the gum line. We use hand instruments and ultrasonic cleaning equipment.
     2. Polishing- this smooth's the surface of the teeth, making it harder ( but not impossible) for more plaque to form.
 3. Flushing- this removes pieces of tartar that have come off and rinses out any bacteria that are  associated with that tartar.
   4. Fluoride Coating- this strengthens the enamel, decreases the sensitivity of the teeth, and will help slow down the rate of future plaque formation.

Prevention is the best medicine!

  •  Schedule routine yearly exams for your pets. Our doctors look them over from teeth to toes. They can advise you when it's time to have your pets teeth cleaned before it gets to a critical point.

  •  Home care is key. We have toothbrushes and special animal toothpaste (human toothpaste can be harmful to pets) for your pet right here at our hospital. We will be happy to show you how to brush your pets teeth and recommend a schedule.

  • We also carry a tarter control diet for both cats and dogs. It can be used as a treat or for their regular diet. It will extend time in-between dental procedures
Between vet visits, owners should look for signs of dental disease such as red swollen gums, bad breath, tan crust along the gum line, and pain or bleeding when the gums are touched. Please contact us to set up an appointment, if you notice these signs.

Developing a dental care program early in your pets life at home will, in the long run, save you money and will prolong the life of your pet.

Remember while February is National Pet Dental Health Month, dental health is a serious matter all year long.

January- National Adopt a Rescue Bird Month - 01/17/2017

January is National Adopt a Rescue Bird Month and the best time to adopt a new family member. So many birds live to a ripe old age and outlive many owners, statics show that the average parrot may have up to seven owners in their lifetime and can live to be 70 to 100 years old.  These feathered friends are in need of a loving home. With so many different kinds of birds (over 8,700 recognized species), were going to help you decide if a bird is right for your home.

Picking a pet bird and important considerations include:

  • Space requirements
  • Amount of care required
  • Life span
  • Cost
  • Whether or not it was hand fed
  • Noisiness
  • Age
  • Sex.
Your first consideration is to decide whether or not you can make the commitment to give the bird a permanent home and that you would have the time to care and socialize your bird.
Most captive bred birds are now hand-fed. This practice results in much tamer and better-adjusted pets.  Adopting an older bird may also have it's advantages, these birds may already be trained, very friendly and used to being held and will interact with people more.

Birds are very social creatures. In the wild they flock together, while in a person's home they seek social contact. In fact, social contact on a regular basis is necessary for their health. Birds eagerly anticipate contact with their owners, other birds, or even other pets.

In many species there is marked difference between the temperaments of male and females.  Male budgies are usually better talkers and less aggressive than females of this species. If you are interested in a singing canary, you will want to purchase a male. Female cockatiels are thought to be less aggressive than their male counterparts.

Your expectations should be realistic and patience is a requirement for anyone considering a new pet, some previously owned birds may bond instantly while others may take months to adjust.

Here at the Animal Hospital of Lynchburg our goal is to provide you and your pet bird with the highest quality preventative medicine available. Pet birds should have an examination at least once a year and routine blood work where we are able to screen for the majority of the treatable or manageable diseases we find in birds. We also do routine beak trimming, nail trimming as well as wing clipping.

 To help encourage your visit, we have developed a Yearly Avian Screening Package that includes a Physical Exam, a fecal exam, a complete blood count and basic chemistry profile. This package is offered at a reduced price over the cost of the items done individually. This allows us to gather important information about your bird before clinical signs of disease arise.

Please do your research, and contact our office when you do get a new bird. Dr. Rick has been working with birds for many years and we welcome them here at our hospital.

Winter Is here, keeps your pets safe - 12/16/2016

Old man winter is upon us,  we  have dug out the heavy jackets, hat and gloves for ourselves, but  it's also time to think about our pets and their winter safety.  As in the past we will include safety tips and guidelines to keep your pet safe during the bitter cold of winter as well as the holiday tips to keep you out of the pet ER!!

Think about it, if its to cold for you, it's probably to cold for your pet.  Some may think that a dog house with wood shavings is a good  way to keep your pet warm, but think about it, would you want to sleep outside when its below freezing? Bringing them in to a basement is a good alternative to a drafty dog house, that way you know their water bowl is not frozen for them to drink out of. Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep, away from drafts and off of the floor, an old blanket or dog bed is best.

Repeatedly coming in and out of your house into the cold can cause itchy, flaky skin, talk to our doctors if this is a problem with your pet.  Try to towel dry your pet as soon as they come inside, paying special attention to the feet and in-between toes, removing any snow balls from in between foot pads, this also removes ice, salt and chemicals used to deice our sidewalks. If possible use pet friendly ice melts for your deicing projects.

Holiday time also means many interesting decorations and festive trees. These things can potentially be hazardous to your pet. Following the tips below can make your holiday a festive and emergency room free one!

 Christmas trees need to be anchored or tied so if and when( we say when because it will happen :)  your pet climbs on it or tries to play with it, you have a sturdy tree. Some folks add things to make their tree last longer like aspirin, sugar or other additives, but these pose potential risk for pets that will find their way underneath for a drink.

Ornaments can cause injury, or if ingested can cause intestinal blockage or toxicity. Keep any homemade ornaments especially those made from salt-dough out of the reach of your pet. Electric lights can cause burns if chewed by a curious pet and tinsel and festive plants are pretty to look at, but can result in an emergency if ingested;  Mistletoe, pine, cedar, Poinsettias and holly are among holiday plants that should be kept away from furry friends. If ingested call us right away. The sooner you call the less time the body has to process the toxins.

If you are traveling with your pet, make sure they have access to a quiet comfortable place to retreat to get away from the excitement. Some pets get nervous and upset with visitors around, put them in a room or their crate with a favorite toy to keep them occupied. When they are out, just remind your company that Fido is not allowed to have any table scraps, as innocent as you think a little piece of turkey skin is, can mean a painful hospital stay for your dog.

Reminder to look back at the thanksgiving blog to remind yourself about the goodies that pose a hazard to your pet and be proactive and make the steps to keep your pet safe year round.

If you have any concerns, questions or need any help with your pet Dr. Jean and Dr. Rick are here to help. A reminder of our holiday closings. We are going to be closed Christmas Eve- Dec 24th,  Christmas Day- Dec 25th, also Monday December 26th reopen Tuesday Dec. 27th also as well as New Years Eve  Dec 31and New Years Day Jan 1. We reopen for regular business Jan 2, 2017. Although our office will be closed we always have staff  come in and care for your animals while either being hospitalized or boarding with us.

Keep our number handy, if you have any concerns, just call!  434-845-7021.
Make sure you know how to get to our Animal Emergency and Critical Care center on Odd fellows road when we are closed, they are open all weekends and all holidays. Its  Exit 7 off of 501 express way, phone number is 434-846-1504

Thanksgiving Pet Safety - 11/17/2016

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The holiday season is quickly approaching us, with all of the festivities we need to remember our furry friends and their safety too. Please be aware of  the potential "holiday hazards" and call our office at 434-845-7021 with any concerns.

We will be closed on Thursday November 24th to spend thanksgiving day with our families, but the Animal Emergency and Critical Care hospital is open 24 hours on all major holidays at 434-846-1504. We will reopen the next day Friday November 25th at 7:30am.

In the spirit of attempting to prevent a Thanksgiving Day disaster in your home, here are some common exposures that we get called about during the week of Thanksgiving.

Table Food and Fatty foods:  such as butter, bacon, meat drippings, gravies and meat scraps may seem harmless but can pose very real threats of pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can result in clinical signs of vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and abdominal pain. Symptoms may not be immediate and can occur up to 4 days after exposure. Yeast dough can also cause problems for pets, including painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating.
 Discarded food items:  such as corn cobs or a turkey carcass sitting out on the carving table, or left in a trash container that is open or easily opened, could be deadly to your family pet. Dispose of it, bones and anything used to wrap or tie the meat, such as strings, bags and packaging – in a covered, tightly secured trash bag placed in a closed trash container outdoors (or behind a closed, locked door).
 Turkey Brine: Who would have thought that the recently popular trend of brining your turkey prior to Thanksgiving would be a risk to your pets?! When you remove the turkey, this salt-saturated solution can be very attractive to dogs and cats, who will readily lap it up resulting in salt toxicity. Clinical signs are excessive thirst and urination, vomiting and diarrhea. This can potentially result in serious electrolyte changes and brain swelling. 

 Hold the Dessert: Candies, desserts or other foods that are sweetened with an artificial sweetener called xylitol are dangerous to pets. Xylitol can result in a rapid drop in blood sugar in dogs along with liver damage. It used to be limited to the ingredient lists of sugar-free gums, mints, and dental products but is now very commonly used in sugar-free or low-sugar baked goods, vitamins and even peanut butter! Even quantities that appear to be very small have the potential to quickly become life-threatening to dogs. Always check the labels!

Chocolates:  Our desserts or treats are dangerous to our pets. Remember that the darker the chocolate, the more serious the ingestion, and the less they will need to ingest to develop clinical signs of vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, tremors, increased heart rate along with potential seizures.

Raisins, currents, grapes and nuts:  Found in some of our favorite Thanksgiving foods are a very serious concern for dogs as they have the risk of resulting in acute renal failure with even small ingestions.  Macadamia nuts are more serious and can ingestions can result in vomiting, diarrhea, inability to rise or walk normally they take on a drunken appearance and can even drag their rear limbs as if injured.

 Holiday decorations: Are a concern for many reasons. The bouquet of lilies you received from your guests can result in acute renal failure in your cat. Bittersweet flowers are many times included in fall floral arrangements and can cause gastrointestinal upset. Candles can result in burns and flameless candles contain batteries, that when ingested can result in gastrointestinal burns and corrosive injury.

 Watch the exits:  Even if your pets are comfortable around guests, make sure you watch them closely when people are entering or leaving your home. While you’re welcoming hungry guests and collecting coats, a four-legged family member may make a break for it out the door and become lost.

If you’re traveling with your pet: Pets should always be safely restrained in vehicles. This means using a secure harness or a carrier, placed in a location clear of airbags. This helps protect your pets if you brake or swerve suddenly, or get in an accident; keeps them away from potentially poisonous food or other items you are transporting; prevents them from causing dangerous distractions for the driver; and can prevent small animals from getting trapped in small spaces. Never transport your pet in the bed of a truck.

 Just a reminder that our boarding facility fills up quickly, so book your reservation now for both Thanksgiving and December/January holidays.

 From Our Family to yours, we want to wish you, your family and your furry friends a safe and Happy Turkey Day!
Marshall, J. (18, November 2015). Thanksgiving Pet Safety. Retrieved from Pet Poision Helpline:
Thanksgiving Safety Tips. (2016). Retrieved from ASPCA: