25067 Elk Lick Rd  
South Riding, VA 20152
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By info@aldievet.com
August 01, 2015
Category: Pet Wellness
Tags: heartworm  

Aldie Veterinary Hospital recommends giving your pet dog or cat its heartworm preventative monthly. Whether the preventive you choose is given as a pill, a spot-on topical medication or as an injection, all approved heartworm medications work by eliminating the immature (larval) stages of the heartworm parasite. This includes the infective heartworm larvae deposited by the mosquito as well as the following larval stage that develops inside the animal. Unfortunately, in as little as 51 days, immature heartworm larvae can molt into an adult stage, which cannot be effectively eliminated by preventives. Because heartworms must be eliminated before they reach this adult stage, it is extremely important that heartworm preventives be administered strictly on schedule (monthly for oral and topical products and every 6 months for the injectable). Administering prevention late can allow immature larvae to molt into the adult stage, which is poorly prevented.

Giving it on the 1st of the month is probably the easiest to remember. Also, don't forget to apply your flea and tick preventative monthly. Print this Heartworm Fact Sheet as a reminder. 

 

Source: American Heartworm Society

I wanted to send a quick note in order to update all of our clients regarding our move down the street. As we have been announcing through email and social media, two month ago, we moved into the new Dulles South Veterinary Center (DSVC) in South Riding on Elk Lick Rd. This veterinary center has been built to be a premier medical, surgical and emergency center by its design and equipment.

 

As with any move or change, it has not been without challenges. We appreciate your patience as we work out all the kinks. One of the biggest changes we have made is the offering of 24/7 emergency veterinary services through Dulles South Animal Emergency Hospital, located in the same building. The conveniences offered at Dulles South Veterinary Center would not have been possible without your loyal support during all these years. Therefore, I would like to formally thank you for entrusting us with your pet’s health and wellness. 

Emergency medicine, for pets, has been a hole that has needed to be filled in our area for a long time. As it stands, the closest emergency centers are, at least, 30 minutes away. Dulles South Animal Emergency will fill this hole and is, currently, the only animal emergency hospital on the south side of Loudoun County.

Aldie Vet will continue to provide routine and advanced veterinary medical and surgical services. In addition, Dulles South Animal Emergency will provide the emergency and critical care services. Together we will be able to provide the continuity of care that meets the healthcare needs of your pets. 

So, what does this all mean for our clients? If you have a pet that is scheduled for surgery that requires hospitalization, overnight observation will be provided. If your pet is brought in as an emergency during the day and is in need of critical care, we will be able to provide that service for you AND you will no longer have to transfer your pet for medical care through the night. Lastly, as DSVC is open 24/7/365, you will have access to emergency veterinary services any time of day or night. Dulles South Animal Emergency will be ready for your unscheduled 2am call!

Please help spread the word regarding DSVC and its emergency and advanced veterinary services. Having a veterinary center open 24/7/365 is a big undertaking, but one which this community needs. DSVC is planning to partner with other local veterinarians by providing the types of services that are not offered at their own practice, as well as being their center of choice for emergencies, critical care and overnight observation. This professional relationship affords our community and its pets, a continuum of comprehensive veterinary care, locally.

Again, thank you for all your support. We look forward to providing these additional veterinary services to our communities.

Dulles South Veterinary Hospital

By manager@aldievet.com
August 20, 2014
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Some people believe that veterinary visits are too stressful or unnecessary for their cat.  Unfortunately they couldn’t be further from the truth.  Cats are secretive and masters of hiding disease.  It takes a trained eye, a thorough history, and maybe some lab tests to know for sure.  Nature teaches cats that the sick and the weak fall, for this reason they will hide sickness until they are no longer physically able to do so. 

Frequently when cats come in to the veterinary hospital for acting ill they have a very advanced disease process.  These cats were often acting perfectly normal even up to the day before.  Routine examination and blood work can detect minor changes in organ function where treatment is easier to accomplish.

An annual examination also allows the veterinarian to have a good baseline for your pet.  This will help them to detect abnormalities much more quickly.  A good annual exam with cover all parts of your cat from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tails.

Eyes and Nose
The vet will check for clarity, signs of infection or inflammation. They may also ask you about your cats behavior at home.
Mouth and Teeth
The vet will examine the mouth and teeth for gum inflammation, oral masses, signs of excess tartar, and/or any tooth abnormalities or breakage.
Ears
The vet will examine your cat’s ears for signs of inflammation, redness, or drainage around the ear canal, and mites.
Heart and Lungs
Your vet will listen to kitty's heart and lungs with a stethoscope, listening for any heart murmurs or any other abnormal sounds, such as respiratory congestion.
Fur
Your vet will examine the cat’s skin and hair coat, these can be indicative of certain disease processes or flea infestation.
Paws and Legs
Next the vet will examine the legs and feet.  They will palpate to make sure your cat has full range of motion and is not painful.
Abdomen
Usually your pet will palpate your kitty’s abdomen.  This is to feel for any apparent masses, or any pain in the digestive tract.
Kitty's Butt
His anus will be checked for visual evidence of worms, and the anal gland for potential signs of infection or impaction.

All of these things will give your vet an idea of your cats health.  Additionally your vet may request labwork, this could include blood work,  urinalysis and potentially radiographs or an ultrasound.  Certain values in the blood or urine will change as organ function begins to decline.  These blood values may remain the only symptom for an extended period of time.  Early detection will make treatment much more possible and manageable.

Your vet will use all of these clues to determine the health of your pet.  Continued care and monitoring are the only way to detect changes.  This is the reason that an annual examination is the standard of practice.  As your cat gets older your vet may opt to do twice yearly examinations.  Waiting until your cat shows signs of illness may be too late.

By Dr. Jennifer Griffing
May 22, 2014
Category: Diet & Nutrition
Tags: Dog Food   nutrition   cat food   corn   by-products   natural food   raw diet.  

It is important to know what is going into your pet’s food bowls.  As our pets’ role in our lives is growing, so is the number of pet food companies and all the associated marketing.  And there is a LOT of marketing out there!  It is important to keep in mind that there is a lot of leniency on what can be written on the pet food bag.  For example, the words “Natural” and “Holistic” have no definition that companies need to comply with.  This means anyone can put these words on their label to make the product seem healthy without being any better than another product.  Labeling and marketing are in part what drives some of the crazes and misconceptions in the pet nutrition world.

There is currently a fad in marketing that grains, corn, or other products are just “fillers” or are not good for your pets.  Fillers would be described as something put into a food with no nutritional value.  Corn is definitely NOT a filler product.  Corn, when cooked and processed correctly is highly digestible.  Corn is a great source of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid, and vitamin E, which is a fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant.  Corn also provides a large quantity of amino acids essential for pet health.  Corn should not be the only ingredient or the only protein source, but it can be an important ingredient in a pet’s diet.    

Food allergies are also an important concern when selecting pet foods for dogs and cats.  Corn, having protein components, could be something a pet is allergic to.  However, corn is not considered one of the top allergens for pets.  Top allergens in dogs are beef, wheat, and dairy products.   Top allergens in cats are fish, wheat and dairy products.  Other more common allergens than corn are chicken meat, chicken eggs, and soybeans.  These ingredients should be a concern if your dog or cat has signs of food allergies such as skin irritation, excessive licking or chewing, and/or chronic diarrhea.  Speak with your veterinarian if you are concerned you pet may have a food allergy. 

Some companies play off the notion of dogs and cats are primitive animals that need large quantities of whole meat.  Americans, in general, consider this to be just the muscles of the skeleton alone.  In fact dogs and cats, as well as their ancestors and wild counterparts, consume nearly all of the prey animals that they kill.  This would include the intestinal organs (which are mostly smooth muscle), liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, bits of bone and cartilage.  In the wild this would also include anything inside the digestive tract that was consumed by the herbivore they are munching on.  This means these predators are eating a lot of pre-digested vegetables and grains.  Dogs and cats in a wild setting need to eat all these different parts to get a nutritionally balanced diet.  So it is important for pet foods to contain some vegetables, starches or grains, and something more than skeletal muscles.  The term meat “by-products” refer to the parts that are left over when you carve off the skeletal muscle for use in steaks, filets, and hamburger patties that humans tend to eat.  So, by-products can contain less desirable cuts of meat like, cleaned intestines and organs, as well as some tendons and bone chips.  Certain things are not allowed to be included in the by-products such as hooves, antlers, or feces.

The term “by-products” refers to the parts that are left over from the production or manufacturing of another item.  For example, molasses is a by-product of sugar manufacturing.  The term by-product has no bearing on its nutritional or monetary value.  Other countries are keener to use a greater amount of the whole animal for food, either for humans or their pets without the stigma attached to it.  Take a look at “natural” chew toys and treats for dogs:  You’ll see tendons, knuckle bones, dehydrated liver, and bully-sticks (which are dried bull penises!)  All of which are considered by-products of meat production.  Additionally, meat by-products are important sources of nutrients which are required to be present in pet food to meet the AAFCO certification standards.

AAFCO or the Association of American Feed Control Officials is a regulatory agency to make sure that there is a level playing field amongst all the pet food companies.  If you see the AAFCO certification logo or claim on the pet food label you can be sure that it is safe and meets the nutritional requirements for the stated life stage.  These stages are growth (puppies or kittens), reproduction (usually referring the pregnant or lactating mom), or maintenance (adult animals).  Not all pet food companies chose to participate in AAFCO regulations, so you’ll want to make sure the type you buy does. 

You’ll notice that there is no life stage of senior in AAFCO regulations.  This term can mean anything on a pet food label.  “Senior” to some companies means there is a higher fat content and more easily digestible food for older pets that have trouble absorbing nutrients and have been losing weight.  Other companies target older pets have lower metabolisms and don’t exercise as much and provide a low fat diet.  Make sure to check the Kilocalories/cup (Kcal/cup) if you are thinking of switching from an adult to a senior food.

There are so many choices it can easily become confusing.  The important qualities of any pet food that you chose is that your pet likes and wants to eat it, that it appeals to you, it is AAFCO certified, and that it doesn’t cause and gastrointestinal upset (smelly gas, chronic diarrhea or vomiting).  Keep in mind that part of the reason there are so many options is that there are no single right choices for every animal.  As always, you are more than welcome to ask your veterinarian if you have questions about different products or what is best for your pet’s specific needs. 

 

By Dr. Caroline Pattie
March 20, 2014
Category: Pet Wellness

: “Kennel cough” is a nickname for a constellation of about a dozen different canine infectious upper respiratory illnesses: viruses and bacteria, some normal inhabitants of the airways which can become opportunistic infections, and some pathologic invaders.  All of these diseases look the same clinically: a coughing dog (dry/hacking or quiet/moist), often with runny eyes or runny nose.  “Kennel cough” does not mean to signify any disease in particular.  Most of these illnesses are self-limiting and don’t pose a major health threat on their own, but the more typical real-life scenario is a patient fighting a mixed-bag of multiple infectious agents which combine to create life-threatening disease.  Not all of these diseases have vaccines, therefore we strive to prevent what we can, and that way if they catch an illness that was not immunized for they may not develop a more severe situation.

One of these preventable illnesses is Bordetella bronchiseptica; a highly contagious bacterial species which typically causes an aggravating inflammation of the large airways in the chest (trachea and bronchi).  Bordetella is most likely to manifest as clinical illness in the youngest populations of dogs; we continue to vaccinate the healthy adults as they are usually catching it and shedding it, but we would never know it as they aren’t coughing.  For Bordetella, it is best to use an intranasal vaccine (just like a FluMist), which is the easiest, most safest way to vaccinate an individual.  It also targets the airways where the disease occurs.

It is important to remember that immunizations will not guarantee that the illness can be 100% prevented, but they will reduce the severity of the illness in the individual and reduce the shedding of the agent among the group.  Immunizations are there to protect not only the individual, but the population as well.  By inciting“herd immunity,” we can better prevent the presence and spread of illness in the general group. 

A veterinary hospital lobby is a hotbed of nose-to-nose contact, excited sneezing and vocalizations (think saliva and nasal secretions in the air), in a facility where we have a unique challenge to admit and treat ill patients while simultaneously seeing wellness visits with healthy patients.  Added to this mix is a general decrease in natural immunity due to the stress of coming in that many patients feel, and everyone is concentrated into a relatively small space.  This challenge is managed with a multimodal approach of environmental hygiene, strategic planning of appointments/procedures, biosecurity measures, and clear-cut administrative policies (such as immunization requirements, also known as “core” vaccinations).  Without certain policies in place, a veterinary hospital would become a major source of disease. 

This concept applies to any facility where concentrated/stressed populations exist, such as grooming salons, doggie daycare, boarding, and dog parks.  Any exposure to these areas would thus be an indication for this core vaccine.  Therefore, any dog whose lifestyle includes these interactions should be vaccinated for Bordetella at least once per year, and forever monitored for any signs of “kennel cough.”





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Who's Talking About Aldie Vet?
I believe that the Aldie Vet Hospital is the Johns Hopkins  for pets of  N. VA for 2 main reasons: I believe that: 1.  Aldie Vet follows procedures which are far more thorough than other vet hospitals in this area.  Read More

I have been bringing our pet zoo to Aldie Vet for the last three years (3 dogs and 2 cats) and this last visit was especially amazing. Dr. Griffings was giving our cat Crosby a checkup and she took the time to let both of my sons hear his heartbeat and explained all of the procedures including demonstrating the blood draw. Dr. Luce has established an amazing business and we are so proud to call them our family vet! They all really do treat our pets as their own! Thank you staff. Kim C. from Aldie, VA