FDA Alert: Potential Neurological Problems with flea and tick control

Recently the FDA posted an alert that the flea and tick medications in the isoxazoline class are now carrying a possible seizure risk in dogs and ataxia in cats. We have used Nexgard and Bravecto in not only our patients but our own cats and dogs for many years. We do not recommend these products in pets with neurological disorders. Click on the link for more details. If your pet shows neurological signs after their monthly treatment please call or schedule an appointment.


Lilies may be pretty, but they can be deadly to your kitty

As spring and Easter approach, it is important to keep these toxic plants away from our feline friends, as ingestion may cause kidney failure.  The entire plant is considered poisonous to cats, so any sign of consumption is cause for concern.  The following signs could indicate lily toxicity: vomiting, loss of appetite, and lethargy.  If your cat has eat a lily plant, or shows any of the above symptoms, please call us immediately.

The following lilies are known to be dangerous to cats:

  • Easter lily
  • Tiger lily
  • Rubrum lily
  • Japanese show lily
  • Day lily

And what about our canine friends?  Ingestion of lilies by dogs can cause some minor gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, diarrhea), but has not been known to damage the kidneys.

For more information, please visit: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/veterinarians/free-resources-clinic-clients/no-lilies-for-kitties/

Spring Training

Warm weather is right around the corner. As we all get more active and get outside more, we also are more prone to injury. Our pets are no different.

A long winter of lounging by the fire can make us want to jump back into our springtime exercise routine at full speed. In order to reduce risk of injury for us and our pets, it’s important to use caution when starting to walk or run several miles, work your way up gradually. Playing fetch is a great way to get your pet moving and have fun in the sun, but dogs can get overheated quickly even on a day that feels only moderately warm, they aren’t used to it yet.  Remember to take breaks and let them drink lots of water.  Be especially careful when it is wet and muddy outside, that’s when we see lots of sprains and torn ligaments.

Let us know if you think your dog’s joint health needs some help – we can advise you on appropriate joint supplements or medication for pain relief.


What happens when I bring my dog/cat in for a dental?

Your pet needs regular dental care just like you do.  Because we can’t ask them to lean back and say “Ah” we use sedation dentistry.

After screening your pet to be sure they are healthy enough for sedation, we set up a day for him/her to come to the hospital.  In the interest of making the procedure as safe as possible, we will often prescribe a course of antibiotics to start prior to the procedure. The day of the appointment, your pet gets a pre-sedation physical, an IV catheter, and many times pre-sedation medications to relax them and make the visit as calming and stress free as possible.

At the time of the procedure, they receive anesthetic medication through the IV catheter, just enough to be able to breathe through a tracheal tube, and lie down so that the doctor and technicians can work in their mouth. They also receive IV fluids through the catheter to keep them hydrated.

Typically, the doctor directs the anesthesia and other medications, the dental technician uses an ultrasonic scaler to clean the tartar from the teeth, and another technician monitors the anesthesia as well as the pet’s vital signs. Now with clean teeth, the doctor performs an oral exam to assess any further needs.  This includes looking for broken teeth, cavities, oral tumors, gum disease causing gingival pockets, and assisting the need for dental radiography.  At this point we will make a plan for any recommended procedures, or go straight to polishing and sealing the teeth.

After recovery from sedation, your pet is ready to go home with a clean fresh-smelling mouth!

Dr. Jenifer Russell, DVM

Weight Management

One thing we evaluate in every physical exam is the overall body condition of each dog and cat.  After all, each one is an individual, just like people.
So in people, there are a handful of body types. In dogs, there are many more, because of the great variation of the different breeds and mixes of breeds.  Some guidelines hold true for everyone however…
Can I feel his/her ribs?
With gentle pressure, you should be able to feel the ribs on your dog or cat’s sides. Too much fatty tissue over this area of the body indicates too much body fat.
There are other factors to look at, such as muscle tone and joint conformation. A useful link is
 https://vet.osu.edu/vmc/companion/our-services/nutrition-support-service/body-condition-scoring-chart  where you can look at the descriptions of a standard scale of rating body condition. Ideally, your goal is for your pet to be a 2 or a 3, depending on his/her age and lifestyle.
It’s a start. We can help you assess your pet’s dietary needs and help you make adjustments to attain a more ideal, healthier body.
Jenifer L Russell, DVM


Thank you for taking the time to read Chesapeake Veterinary Hospital’s introductory blog post. We will be endeavoring to put out a monthly segment written by our doctors, with the occasional staff guest spot, that will highlight different topics based around whatever the writer finds interesting in the world of veterinary medicine. It is our hope that this will not only allow our readers to gain some useful and educational information, but also let them connect a little more with our veterinarians.

Having a pet can be a great source of companionship. For all the chewed furniture, messy litter boxes, and heart-wrenching goodbyes, nothing can replace the feeling of opening the door to your home and being greeted by your furry friend. You come to expect and rely on their company and the support they lend you. Here at CVH, we value this relationship and aspire to use this space to bring to light many of the questions and concerns we run across every day in veterinary medicine. Stay tuned….