Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Dr. Hilgert

Dear Friends,
After many years of service for our clients and their pets, Dr. Bryan Hilgert has made the decision to pursue other career opportunities.  Therefore, he will be leaving the practices of Rockville Road Animal Hospital and the Animal Hospital of Avon.  We are sad to lose him as a clinician, but at the same time we are also excited for him as he makes a fresh start with new challenges.  His last day will be Saturday, February 28th.  Please join us in thanking him for his great care over the years. and wishing him all the best in his future endeavors.

The doctors and staff of Rockville Road Animal Hospital and Animal Hospital of Avon

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

It's time to say good bye to 2014, and welcome 2015!  We want to wish you all a happy, and safe, New Year!

Keep in mind, New Year's parties can be a problem for your four-legged kids.

#1 - Loud music - With any party you may host, playing music loudly can be bothersome to your dogs.  Their hearing is much more sensitive than ours.  If you are going to be playing loud music, keep your dogs in a room that is away from all the festivities and the music will be muffled.

#2 - Party food - Many foods that we put out at parties can be harmful to our pets.  Ask your guests, politely, to not feed your pets from their plates.  Keep all alcohol out of the reach of your pets.  Many parties include desserts and candies.  While some people food can cause vomiting or diarrhea, others, like chocolate, grapes & raisins, can be toxic to pets.,   Keep all foods up on tables and counters where your pets are less likely to be able to get to them.

#3 - Fireworks - Celebrating the new year, usually brings out fireworks, and sometimes even guns, for marking the midnight hour.  The loud pops and bangs from gunfire and fireworks can startle your pets and make them want to run out a door, jump a fence, or hide under furniture.  Keep them in a room with a TV on at a lower volume to help distract them from the loud noises outside.

#4 - Open doors - Every time a guest enters, or even leaves, your house, the door will open.  Dogs and cats may see this as an opportunity to go outside.  Make sure that your microchip information is up to date.  If your pet is not microchipped, be sure to have their most recent Rabies and/or identification tags on their collars.

The Animal Hospital of Avon will be closed at noon on New Year's Eve, and all day New Year's Day.  We will re-open on Friday and return to normal business hours.
If you have an after hours emergency needs, please contact one of the following clinics:
Airport Animal Emergi-Center, 5235 W. Washington St, Indianapolis - Open after hours - (317) 248-0832
IndyVet Emergency & Specialty Hospital, 5425 Victory Dr, Indianapolis - Emergency Department is open 24/7 - (317) 782-4418
Circle City Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Hospital, 9650 Mayflower Park Dr, Carmel - Emergency Department is open 24/7

Friday, June 27, 2014

Heartworm Infection in Cats

Do cats really get heartworms?
Though heartworm infections are more common in dogs, cats can get heartworms.  While dogs usually develop a large number of heartworms that can eventually cause heart failure if untreated, cats typically harbor very few adult worms.  However, when the cat's immune system starts attacking the heartworms, it can cause a deadly anaphylactic reaction that is difficult to treat.  Here, in the state of Indiana, heartworms are a big problem.

Heartworm Life Cycle
Mosquitoes become carriers of heartworm larvae when they feed on an infected animal.  When the infected mosquito bites a cat, the larvae enter the cat's system.  Cats are not a natural host of heartworm larvae and the life cycle is less likely to be completed.  Worms that do survive in the cat's system can cause an immune reaction that could create severe health problems.

There is a great computer animated video that has been put together by the American Heartworm Society that shows the life cycle of the heartworm, and how it effects cats.

Signs & Symptoms
Below is a list of some signs & symptoms that could be associated with feline heartworm infection:
  • Persistant cough
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Depression
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Blindness
  • Syncope/fainting
  • Tachycardia/fast heart rate
Health problems that can affect your cat, should they become infected with heartworms:
  • Damage to heart & lungs
  • Damage to pulmonary (lung) vessels
  • Obstruction of blood flow
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heart & lung failure
  • Kidney & liver damage
  • Sudden death

It can be difficult to diagnose feline heartworm infections.  Radiographs (Xrays) and bloodwork will be done when a cat is symptomatic. Since cats are naturally stoic creatures, it may be hard to tell that your cat is sick until the disease has become a major problem.  If  you notice your cat displaying any signs of respiratory distress, such as coughing, panting, open-mouth breathing or wheezing, it's a good idea to take your cat to the veterinarian immediately.

This deadly disease is much easier to prevent than it is to treat.  There are currently no products approved for cats, in the US, for the treatment of adult heartworm infections, so prevention is key.  Even indoor cats can be bitten by an infected mosquito, as they can easily enter a home from an open door or window, and it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause infection.  We recommend that your cat be seen by a veterinarian yearly, and be kept on a regular monthly preventative, such as Advantage Multi or Revolution.  

Written by:  Erricka Jones & Dr. Aimee Hossler


Friday, June 13, 2014

Dr. Campbell says Good-bye. :(

Almost 13 years ago, while still in high school, I began my employment at Animal Hospital of Avon and Rockville Road Animal Hospital.  My first day on the job, a fresh-faced assistant with zero experience, I was only trusted to follow Dr. Richards around to erase the scuffs his shoes made on the newly waxed floor and clean out the freezer of a forgotten exploded Pepsi can…and I loved every minute of it.  I was so excited to be around cats and dogs on a daily basis and work with a group of people that were more than a team, they were a family.  Slowly my responsibilities progressed and the skills I developed with the experiences I had there became the basis of my application to Purdue’s School of Veterinary Medicine.  Throughout my time at Purdue, I would return on breaks and vacations to squeeze in as much time as I could at my second home.  As fate had it, when the time came to graduate from school, they were in need of a full-time veterinarian!  What better place to start out than in the comfort of your own home! 
As you all know, working at an animal clinic is one of high stress, emotion, excitement and sadness.  Adjusting to these ups and downs was difficult but bearable when surrounded by such a fantastic staff and clientele.  It is very rare to find a group of people like these who genuinely care for all of their clients and patients.   My time here has been extraordinary, but unfortunately life has taken me in a new direction.        
I’m saddened to announce officially that by the end of May I will be no longer a part of the fantastic teams of Rockville Road Animal Hospital and Animal Hospital of Avon.  I cannot thank my staff, colleagues, and bosses enough for all that you have done to support me and contribute deeply to the type of veterinarian I am today and strive to become.  We will forever be family.

With Love,

Rachael  (Dr. Campbell)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April Showers Bring..........Storm Anxiety!

It's that time of year again.  Time to think about the weather and how it is effecting your fur babies.  Many dogs and cats, large and small, suffer from a condition known as Astraphobia or Storm Anxiety.  In fact, as many as 30% of dogs can be affected by this fear.  Many of their humans have no idea what to do to help them get through a bad spring storm.  Hopefully, we can help!

What are the signs of storm anxiety?
Even before a thunder storm starts, you may notice your pet pacing, panting, and/or hiding.  Our pets will know about the coming storm before we do.  They can feel changes in barometric pressure and sense low frequency rumbles that we may not hear or feel.  Changes in static electricity can also cause pets to become more anxious.  Wind, rain, thunder & lightening can all contribute to storm anxiety.
Pet's may hide under the bed, stay close to their humans, start trembling or shaking, or even want to hide in their kennel.  Once the storm has started, and you actually begin hearing rain and thunder, the signs of storm anxiety will often worsen, and your pet may act even more agitated.

What can I do to help my pet feel more at ease during a storm?
There are several things that can be done to ease anxiety.
1.  Start when they are young and get them used to loud noises.  Buy a CD that has storm sounds on it and play it at lower volumes at first, then increase the volume over time.  This is a technique that MAY work.  During a real storm, other factors, besides noise, can still cause anxiety in a pet that has been introduced to the noise gradually.
2.  Try to remove your pet from the situation by making them a safe place.  Put your fur baby's bed/crate in an interior room and cover it with a blanket.  Keep the room dark and quiet, or try play calming music.  If you are using their crate as a safe place, be sure to leave the door open so they can still come and go as they please.  Don't make them feel trapped with the door closed.
3.  During a storm, offer treats, cuddles and play time.  This may help your pet associate storms with good things and can sometimes serve as a distraction from the storm outside.
4.  Use calming scents or diffusers throughout areas that your pet frequents in your home.  Feliway and DAP diffusers are commercially available pheromone scents that have calming properties.  Also, lavender scent is calming to everyone in the home, two and four legged.
5.  Try using a Thundershirt.  Thundershirt looks like a vest, but works as an anti-anxiety pressure wrap on your pet.  It helps make them feel more secure in their environment.  It is the same idea as swaddling a baby.  The makers of the Thundershirt (Thunderworks) have several items available to assist in calming your dog and/or cat.  They have the vest/shirt, sweaters, coats, leashes, toys, Pheromone sprays, and they even have treats.  You can visit the Thunderworks website for more information.
6.  An Animal Behaviorist can work with you and your pet to help relieve anxieties.  They will teach you several exercises that you can do with your pet to help lessen their fears.  However, if you aren't willing, or able, to work with your pet, this may not be effective.  We recommend Jane Page with New Behavior, LLC.
7.  Be sure to stay calm yourself.  If you are nervous or anxious, your pet will sense this, which will only heighten their anxiety.
8.  If you are finding that nothing else is working, you may want to talk to one of our veterinarians about medication that can help relax your pet during a storm.  Medications do take some time to be effective, so remember that if you know a storm is coming, you will need to watch the weather to figure out a good time to give your pet his/her medication.  Also, some medications will only work for a short period of time, so your pet may need additional doses for storms lasting a long time.

Other Anxieties:

There are also other situations that can cause your pet to be anxious.  Fireworks, travel, separation from owner, and meeting new people and animals can all be causes of anxiety.  Many of these situations can be remedied with some of the techniques mentioned above.  You can discuss these fears, and additional tips on how to treat or prevent them, with one of our veterinarians when you come in for your next appointment.

Written by:  Erricka Jones & Dr. Aimee Hossler
USA Today:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A sad goodbye.....

Dear friends,

We at the Animal Hospital of Avon and Rockville Road Animal Hospital have some news to share with you. Dr. Patty Kovach has decided to take a break from the practice of veterinary medicine. She is going to take some time off to enjoy her family and reassess her goals and options. Her last day was Wednesday, February 12th.

We appreciate all the wonderful care she has given to our four-footed friends over the years. We know she will be missed and wish her much success and happiness in this new chapter of her life.

The doctors and staff of the Animal Hospital of Avon andRockville Road Animal Hospital