Friday, December 18, 2015

Decorating is a fun and popular tradition this time of year, but there are some decorations that you need to be mindful of or avoid if you have pets in your home.  These include ribbons, tinsels, tree decorations and garlands made out of food or glass ornaments, candles, and wax warmers.   Artificial snow and exposed electrical wires may also pose a danger to our furry children.   Make  sure to keep your tree's water covered also.  The chemicals and other preservatives used to extend the life of your tree are harmful if your pets drink from the tree stand.  Many of us buy gifts for our beloved pets to show our love,  these should not be wrapped and placed under the tree.  Dogs and cats sense of smell is much stronger than ours and wrapping paper and plastics can cause gastrointestinal upset and possible obstructions.  

Holiday plants that you should avoid include:
*  Poinsettias: The sap can cause vomiting and stomach irratation.
*  Holly (leaves and berries):  Cause vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea,
*  Mistletoe:  Is extremely toxic.  If ingested take to Vet immediately.
*  Lily:  Especially deadly to cats, but all pet should be taken to the Vet.

The holidays are full of special foods and drinks.  To help you avoid an emergency trip to the veterinarian's office we have composed a short list of some things you should avoid with your pets:

* Chocolate:  Especially dark chocolate can be lethal.
*  Macadamia nuts: Can cause seizures.
*  Coffee, Tea, & Alcohol.
*  Nuts:  Are high in fat.  Many are toxic and most all cause GI distress and
* Greasy, fatty foods, and fat trimmings from meat, fried foods, bones,
   twines and strings used to tie meats:
   Cause GI upset, pancreatitis, and obstructions.
* Avocados, mushrooms, sage, onion, grapes, and raisins : Kidney problems.
* Any product containing Xylitol:  Artificial sweetner found in lots of "sugar-free"

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at 336-584-9978 and we will help  in any way we can.  There are also many resources available to you including the ASPCA Poison Control Center.  Please use discretion when referring to internet sites.  Consult your veterinarian if something seems questionable to you.

From the Dr Madarasz, Dr Cates and all the staff at Westbrook Animal Hospital
We wish everyone a safe and very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 


Thursday, October 22, 2015


                        & your pets

  Halloween is around the corner and can be a fun time for kids. On the other hand, it may be rather frightening to our pets. Making sure our children and pets are safe can be challenging.  Dangers to animals include harmful pranks affecting them or their homes, loud noises and fireworks, opening and closing of doors to trick-or-treaters, and of course the candy.
  Pets in many cases have escaped from the home during the handing out of treats. Having your pet microchipped would help to increase the likelihood of being reunited with them. Avoiding loud, booming fireworks may help prevent destructive behavior by your pet and decrease their level of stress.
  Chocolates, artificially sweetened candies, mints, chewing gum and raisins commonly found in Halloween baskets, are poisonous to our pets. Dark chocolates are more toxic than milk chocolates. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, harms the liver in animals. Raisins and grapes can lead to kidney failure. Chewing up and ingesting bags, plastic containers or candy wrappers may cause a blockage in the digestive tract. Surgery is often needed to correct this.

 We at Westbrook Animal Hospital hope that everyone will have a spooktacular time and please stay safe.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Vaccinate Your Pet against Rabies

World Rabies Day is the 28th day of September each year, with the intent to raise awareness of rabies and to help educate people on the prevention and control of the virus  As this date quickly approaches (Monday) we would like to take a moment to address the Rabies virus, how is it transmitted, and what signs to look for. 

The Rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. Rabies is a preventable disease with proper, up to date vaccines administered by a licensed veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician under the supervision of a veterinarian.  In compliance with North Carolina state laws any pet over the age of 4 months must be vaccinated for Rabies.  With all pet owners being compliant it greatly decreases the chances of a domestic pet contracting Rabies if it comes in contact with Rabid wildlife or an unfamiliar animal.  Wildlife to avoid typically include raccoons, bats, skunks, and fox.

Signs that an animal may have been infected are growling, showing its teeth, being excessively aggressive, general sickly look, problems swallowing, excessive drooling or salivating, appears to be more tame than you would expect (especially wildlife), shows no fear of humans, biting at everything, or overly lethargic, having trouble moving or even appears to be paralyzed. 

Rabies virus is transmitted to pets and people through saliva when bitten by an infected animal. If you or your pet come across an animal you believe may be infected with the virus report it immediately to animal control and if safe take a picture of the animal to help be able to identify it if unable to catch at that time.  If you or your pet have actual contact with the animal contact your physician and veterinarian for advise on how to proceed.

There are several ways to help ensure you're doing your part in helping protect your pet from exposure.  These include vaccinating your pet regularly, keeping your pet on a leash while walking, and not allowing your pet to wander freely in wooded areas where wildlife is present.  If you are out and encounter a loose or stray animal stop where you are, stand still, do not make eye contact, and wait for the animal to move on.   Don't approach sick or injured wildlife, an unknown animal, or animals that appear to be recently deceased.

For further information call our office or visit the below listed websites.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

As Summer Winds Down

                                                        As Summer Winds Down

  Preparation for back to school is under way and many of us are getting our kids ready to return to the grind of schoolwork, after school sports, clubs and other activities. At the same time, we need to remember to continue caring for our pets at home. The seasonably hot weather allows fleas, ticks and mosquitoes to remain a problem. Please remember to administer heartworm prevention along with flea and tick control as prescribed.
   Flea season typically intensifies outdoors in the late summer until we experience a deep freeze in winter. Many times fleas may end up indoors long after the cold weather arrives. As a result, we recommend year round control for your pets.
  Hurricane season is well under way and fortunately, we have not experienced one locally in quite some time. In the event one may be headed our way, we need to also include our pet’s needs in our preparations. Food, bottled water, medicines, first aid kit, supplements, treats, litter for our cats, vaccine records in the form of veterinary visit receipts or a pet record booklet, bags to dispose of waste, pet carriers or kennels, bedding,  cushions, leashes, proper placement of collars or harnesses with identification tags, are essential in the event of an emergency. This is a long list of items and it does not include supplies that we, humans, will need.
  In times of natural disasters, many pets become separated from their owners and lack proper identification. As a result, reuniting them with their owners can often be difficult or nearly impossible. We know that implanting a microchip into your pet is the best form of identification. A scanner reads the microchip and a database will have the owner identified. Implanting a microchip by a veterinarian is easy, effective and will remain with the life of your pet. Please call for an appointment if you are interested.
  If you have any questions, please feel free to call and one of our staff members would be happy to assist you. Our staff here at Westbrook Animal Hospital wishes you and your family a happy and safe start to the new school year.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Canine Influenza Information

                                                                               Canine Influenza

Canine Influenza is a relatively new viral disease with symptoms similar to those found in humans. The symptoms of Canine Influenza will appear 2-4 days after exposure and usually last up to five days after exposure. Symptoms include: coughing, sneezing, lethargy, fever, runny eyes, and runny nose. Treatment of the virus is symptomatic with supportive care, as in humans. Two strains of the virus exist, however there is currently only a preventative vaccine for the older strain. Several states have confirmed cases of CIV in their animal hospitals, including North Carolina. Cities as close as Greensboro have reported at least one case of infection. Pets who have spent time in animal shelters, breeding, grooming, or boarding facilities, attended canine social events, as well as those living in apartment complexes and housing developments are at risk for contracting canine influenza as it is highly contagious. The virus is easily transmitted from dog to dog, and it can live on objects outside of the body such as toys, clothing, and dog bowls. These items must be cleaned with disinfectant before they may be used again. If exposure is suspected, your pet needs to be kept away from other animals, including cats and other household pets because the infected animal may be contagious for up to fourteen days. The fatality rate of canine influenza is relatively low, however if it is left untreated the virus may eventually develop into a respiratory infection such as pneumonia.
      If you suspect your dog has Canine Influenza, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian so that the animal's symptoms may be assessed. Dr. Cates or Dr. Madarasz will evaluate your pet's symptoms and determine whether your animal should be treated for Canine Influenza. Infection of CIV may be confirmed only by sending a sample to a lab. Upon bringing your dog to Westbrook Veterinary Hospital, we ask that you first contact a staff member to inform us of your arrival, and leave your pet inside of your vehicle until we can safely bring your dog into the hospital. Unless your pet is extremely ill, we may send your pet home with prescribed medications in order to minimize spreading the virus to other uninfected animals within the hospital.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Welcome to Westbrook Animal Hospital's new Blog page. Our hospital was opened by Dr Nick Madarasz in December of 1992.  We currently have two full time Veterinarians; Dr Madarasz and Dr Martha Cates, on staff.  Westbrook is a companion animal practice, which sees all breeds of dogs and cats, as well as most exotics and pocket pets.  We offer preventative care, routine surgeries, dental care, nutrition, radiology, cold laser therapy, full breed specific grooming facility, overnight and day boarding.  

The office is open Monday - Friday from 7:30 - 5:30 and on Saturday from 9 - 12.  Please phone our office at (336) 584-9978 to schedule an appointment.