Risk of Ehrlichia species exposure on the rise across portions of U.S.

Improved detection confirms significant threat from lone star tick, supports need for year-round tick control in dogs and cats.

IDEXX Laboratories recently reported that dogs in the south central and eastern regions of the country are being exposed to a greater number of ticks and tick-borne diseases than once thought, according to a company-issued press release. Researchers with IDEXX compared reference laboratory results conducted in 2011 with current results from one of its SNAP diagnostic tests—also run at the reference laboratory—and found that there was up to a fourfold increase inEhrlichia species exposure this year.












But is this the result of improved laboratory tests and better detection, or is the nation’s tick population growing and branching out into uncharted territory? It’s true that the company’s SNAP 4Dx Plus test, which screens for a number of common tick-borne pathogens, was recently upgraded to include antibody detection for Ehrlichia ewingii, but that’s only part of the story, says Susan Little, DVM, PhD, DEVPC (right), professor of veterinary parasitology at Oklahoma State University. “That test has wider platform and is detecting an agent that we didn’t previously have serologic assays to detect,” she says. “But the vector tick that transmits Ehrlichia ewingii, the most common Ehrlichia species infecting dogs in the U.S., now has a broader geographic distribution, too.”

Ehrlichia ewingii is transmitted by the lone star tick, and dogs in the southern part of the U.S. have always been at risk for this type of Ehrlichiosis, due to the tick’s overwhelming presence in that region. But even that indigenous tick population is growing, says Little, and now the lone star tick is migrating north into much of the eastern two-thirds of the country.

However, Little is encouraged by the fact that laboratories such as IDEXX are striving to create better diagnostic tests that pick up more disease-causing agents, like Ehrlichia ewingii. “We need to characterize the full gamut of what’s out there and have diagnostic tests that identify the infection,” she says. “Many veterinarians recognize that a patient has a tick-borne disease, but they’re not able to figure out what it is.”

But that could be changing, as evidenced by the recent upgrade in the IDEXX test. “While many veterinarians in highly endemic areas are familiar with acute E. ewingii infections, we don’t know a lot about this pathogen because testing for it has been limited until now,” says Melissa Beall, DVM, PhD, manager of medical affairs at IDEXX. “IDEXX is excited to be able to help veterinarians screen for a pathogen and evidence of a tick species that is fast becoming a larger threat to people and pets in more parts of the country.”

In order to keep that threat to a minimum, Little suggests that veterinarians follow the Companion Animal Parasite Council’s recommendations and urge clients to practice year-round tick control and prevention. “We need to be more adamant with clients about year-round tick control for dogs and cats,” Little says. “Tick control protects dogs and cats from tick-borne diseases—the ones we know about and the ones we’re still finding out about.”


HOW DO WE FIX THIS ISSUE DOCTOR ANDY???? By purchasing Revolution at our office this will not only take care of your fleas and heartworms prevention but it also takes care of the most common ticks. But when you purchase here in the office you are welcome to a free tick collar!

FDA urges veterinarians to avoid ambiguity when writing prescriptions for pets

Human pharmacists may misinterpret veterinary medication and dosage instructions, agency says.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) began to examine error reports for veterinary medications in 2008. Now, safety reviewer Linda Kim-Jung of CVM’s Division of Veterinary Product Safety says that the medication errors that occur in the prescription of medicine to pets are similar to those that happen in the treatment of people.

According to a release from the FDA, Kim-Jung says errors can start with simple abbreviations—especially now that some clients have their veterinary prescriptions filled at retail pharmacies. Although veterinarians are taught to use abbreviations to save time, abbreviations taught on the human side may be different from those veterinarians use. “Poor penmanship can add to the problem, too,” Kim-Jung says. This can lead to transcription errors at the pharmacy.

In its review of error reports, the CVM found that dosing abbreviations are often misread. For example, “s.i.d.” (once daily) has been misinterpreted as “b.i.d.” (twice daily) and “q.i.d.” (four times daily), leading to overdoses. Transcription errors can also occur as a result of misinterpreting abbreviations such as “U” (units) for “0” or “mcg” (microgram) for “mg” (milligram), or when prescriptions are written with leading or trailing zeroes.

“A 5-mg dose written with the trailing zero as 5.0 mg can be misread as 50 mg, or a 0.5 mg dose written without the leading zero as .5 mg can easily be mistaken for 5 mg, potentially resulting in a 10-times overdose,” Kim-Jung says.

To avoid prescription mixups, the CVM recommends that veterinarians adopt the following practices:

• Completely write out the prescription, including the drug name and dosage regimen. The full dosage regimen includes the dose, frequency, duration and route of administration.

• When writing out a dose, do not use a trailing zero and do use a leading zero.

• When calling in or writing out a human drug prescription for animals, verbally state or write out the entire prescription, because some pharmacists may be unfamiliar with veterinary abbreviations.

• Consider using a computerized prescription system to minimize misinterpretation of handwriting.

The CVM also says programs should be considered at the veterinary school level to teach students about the dangers of using abbreviations.

Doctor Andy Really Loves His Clients

Photo: Doctor Andy really does treat his patient's like they are his own. Here he is with Dexter Green this morning.


Sure any other vet can say they love their patients like its their own but Doctor Andy truly does. Here is Doctor Andy with our Accountant, Michelle Green’s, dachshund. Dexter was loving on Doctor Andy even after he underwent his annual wellness exam and vaccines. The pup even got a dental!!

“Tuk” the Police Dog

Dr. Andy is taking care of a Police dog, “Tuk,” in the hospital today.

Photo: Dr. Andy is taking care of a Police dog, "Tuk," in the hospital today. We are treating him for a medical condition. The Interlachen Animal Hospital family is asking for good thoughts and prayers to help him recover quickly! Positive thoughts means positive outcomes!

We are treating him for a medical condition.

The Interlachen Animal Hospital family is asking for good thoughts and prayers to help him recover quickly!

Positive thoughts means positive outcomes!

Playtime and Fun Games

Playtime and Fun Games

Playtime is an important part of a pet’s exercise program and socialization. All pets benefit from play as it:
  • Is a form of exercise
  • Prevents boredom
  • Relieves stress
  • Prevents obesity
  • Increases the bond between you and your pet
  • Builds confidence
  • Is fun

Important play tips

  • Always get permission from a grown-up before playing with your pet.
  • Be Gentle: Gently stroke the pet on the chest and shoulders: avoid the neck, face, feet and tail.
  • Approach Slowly: Move slowly around a pet.
  • Be quiet and confident around your dog.
  • Be careful not to step on your pet.
  • Wear a long-sleeved top when playing with your cat.
  • Show the pet that you want to approach slowly by crouching down and lowering your hand. Let your pet come to you.
  • Always wash your hands after playing with your pet.


  • Do not approach a dog when it is eating, sleeping or toileting.
  • Do not pull the ears or tail.
  • Do not play in the area of the pet’s toilet
  • Do not corner a pet.
  • Do not let your pet lick your face, eyes or mouth
  • Never reach into your pet’s kennel or crate. Let your pet come out to you.
  • Do not take a toy from your pet.
  • Do not scream or scare your pet.

Fun games to play with your pet

Hide n Seek
In the same room, hide behind a door or furniture and call your cat’s name. When your cat finds you, reward them with a small treat or by petting them gently. Once your cat gets good at this, choose another room or a bigger area in the house.

Most dogs enjoy a game of fetch. Safely and gently throw a Frisbee or ball. When your dog returns, hold up a treat and command them to drop. If your pet drops the toy, give them the treat. Cats too can learn how to fetch. Using a small toy like a lightweight ball or stuffed mouse, throw it gently across the floor and allow your cat to chase it. Once caught, call your cat back and see if it returns the toy. Practice makes perfect.

Flashlight fun
In a dark room, create a beam of light with a flashlight. Without shining the light into your pet’s eyes, move the beam of light across the floor and watch your cat chase it.

Fishing pole toys
Wand-type toys with dangling feathers or streamers are a lot of fun for your cat. Moving the pole in a snake-like or mouse-like movement can excite your cat to play. Make sure you put the toys away after playing with them. Don’t let your cat play with this type of toy if you are not around.

Walking fun
It’s important for both cats and dogs to be comfortable on a leash.

Cool Games in the Sun
  • Wading Pools: Create a shallow wading pool for your dog to play in.
  • Frozen Treats: Dogs often like to play with ice blocks. For those fussy pets, add a bit of chicken or beef stock before freezing them.
  • Kong Fun: Add some frozen treats to the Kong and watch your pet play for hours.
  • Beach or Lake Fun: Go swimming in the water and bring along a pet life jacket for your pet.

“Pup-Cakes” Don’t let your Pup miss out on Holiday Treats!

Don’t let your pet miss out on the Holiday fun!

Try a Pup-Cake made just for your pup!

Peanut Butter & Carrot Pup-cakes

Make 20 mini cupcakes


1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup shredded carrots
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup honey
1 egg

8 oz Low fat cream cheese plus 1 TBS honey
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Shredded Carrots


Preheat oven to 350º.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well until combined. Put liners in a mini cupcake pan. Using a small cookie dough scoop, scoop a rounded teaspoon of batter into each cupcake cup. Bake for 12-15 minutes (until firm and beginning to brown).

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Pipe frosting of choice onto cupcakes and top with shredded carrots.

Holiday Indoor Fun For You and Your Pet

If the weather outside is frightful, stay in and play some games with your pet to keep him or her occupied during the long, cold season. Interactive puzzle toys are a great way to keep your pet entertained for an afternoon. These toys dispense treats as your pet plays with them, so they’re a great distraction — until all of the treats have been eaten. For cats, consider a laser toy or some catnip. You could also recycle gift boxes and wrapping paper to construct a kitty mansion for your favorite feline to explore. Dogs might also love playing a game of hide and seek with a favorite toy, or practicing a new trick, like learning to roll over.

Day 3 of Fun pet facts

They can tell when you have low blood sugar
Some trained dogs seem to detect low blood sugar levels. According to a 2000 article in the British Medical Journal, more than one-third of dogs living with diabetic people have been reported to display behavioral changes when their owners’ blood sugar drops, sometimes even before patients themselves were aware of it. In two case studies cited by the paper, the dogs not only detected their owners’ falling glucose levels, they even nudged their owners into eating.
It’s unclear how the dogs did it, but it’s possible that they detected minute muscle tremors, or changes in the owners’ scents, according to the study.
And they might be able to learn the skill. Reportedly, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was recently taught to recognize low blood sugar by the Pups in Prison program at the Junee Correctional Centre in Australia, where inmates helped train service dogs

Day 1 of 7 on fun pet health facts

Did you know pets can detect cancer????

Scientific reports of dogs sniffing out cancerous growths go back at least two decades. According to a 1989 case study in The Lancet, a patient reported that her dog would constantly sniff at a mole on her leg, and once even tried to bite the lesion off. Prompted by this, she had her mole checked out and found it to be a malignant melanoma.

But dogs are not only good at sniffing out skin cancer, some can also detect bladder, lung, breast, ovarian and colon cancer. In fact, a specially trained eight-year-old black Labrador named Panda correctly detected colorectal cancer in 33 out of 37 samples of people’s breath and stool that scientists had collected. Moreover, according to the article in the journal Gut published this year, Panda appeared to be highly accurate at detecting early-stage colorectal cancer.

It’s unclear whether such dogs are zeroing in on some unknown, tumor-related volatile compounds, or more conventional substances in body fluids associated with an increased risk of cancer, such as metabolites of cigarettes, the researchers said. However, in this experiment, Panda identified cancer patients even among body—fluid samples from people with inflammation, a history of smoking, or other diseases.

Men and Women Attracted to Certian Breeds When Dating

Some guys go for blonds, some go for brunettes and others are into redheads. And then there are guys who are attracted to Golden Retrievers. According to a survey of 1,000 people conducted by Kloof (a mobile app for pet lovers) and published in the Miami Herald, when it comes to dating, the top dog breed for women to attract men is the Golden Retriever, followed closely by Labrador Retrievers, Chihuahuas, Poodles and Beagles.

For men looking to woo the ladies, the top breed likely to attract a potential girlfriend is the German Shepherd. Similar to their male counterparts, women are also enamored by men who own Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers, as well as Huskies and French Bulldogs

The Kloof survey also noted that although men are likely to date a woman who owns a Chihuahua, they often enter into the relationship thinking the woman is “easy” or “dumb.” Similarly, a woman might find a man who owns a Pit Bull to be “slimy” or “sketchy,” whereas a guy with a Siberian Husky or German Shepherd is viewed as “masculine.”

What do you think? Are these “best breeds for dating” just stereotypes, or is there some truth in the survey’s observations? Let us know your opinion in the comments below.