• A.P.A.W. Veterinary Hospital and Wellness

  • 7601 Good Luck Rd, Lanham, MD 20706   Phone:301.552.3800   Fax:301.552.4347
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Heartworm disease – a disturbing trend

Written By admin at 11:53 AM on June 08, 2011

At A.P.A.W., we are noticing a disturbing trend that may affect you and your pet.  Twice (2x) as many dogs have been diagnosed with heartworm disease in the past month than were diagnosed in the entire last year.  On Monday alone, we hospitalized two dogs for treatment.  This is an alarming trend and we are very concerned about the increased frequency of occurrence of this preventable disease.

We believe that we are seeing this spike in heartworm disease because of two reasons:  1.) the economy and 2.) the weather.  Many people may have cut back on giving the preventative medication year round. In addition, increased moisture in our environment over the last two years has led to an increase in the mosquito population.  These two factors lead to a deadly combination where more dogs and cats are carrying the disease caused by this parasite and more animals are not protected from the disease.

This disease can be deadly and the treatment is very painful for your pet.  The average cost of treatment for this disease can be ten times (10x) the cost of the preventative.   So we encourage every pet owner to make sure that their animals are on a year round preventative program.  Please make sure your pet is tested before starting the medicine so the safest therapy options can be used.

For more information on heartworm disease, please click here.



Cat tested positive for H1N1

Written By admin at 06:03 PM on February 17, 2011

Earlier this week, veterinary authorities confirmed that a cat in Wisconsin had tested positive for the H1N1 flu virus.  After failing to respond to treatment, the pet passed away.  It is believed that the pet contracted the illness from it’s owner, which shows that the disease can still pass from human to animal.  This is the first confirmed case of a pet having H1N1 since January 2010.  It is important to monitor your pet’s health closely, especially if you have been ill with flu-like symptoms.  Visit your veterinarian if there are any signs of illness in your pet. 
The symptoms of H1N1 virus are likely to resemble those of other common respiratory infections.  Some common signs to look out for are: 
• Coughing, sneezing and oculonasal discharge
• Fever, lethargy and loss of appetite
• Dyspnea, tachypnea and respiratory distress



Join A.P.A.W.’s Project: Pet Slim Down

Written By admin at 03:39 PM on January 03, 2011

Welcome to the new year! Did you include your pet when you made your resolutions for this year? We know you love your pet(s) and if s/he is getting a little pudgy, you may even think it’s cute. However, research has proven that it is important to keep your dog lean as a preventative measure for a number of health issues that can arise as your pet ages. Studies also show that up to 50% of dogs are overweight. As a result, A.P.A.W. Veterinary Hospital and Wellness Center invites you to JOIN THE MOVEMENT! Pet owners across the country are joining Project: Pet Slim Down ™.


Here’s how it works:

1. Fill out two questionnaires and submit them to A.P.A.W. by January 15, 2010:

Click Here for Questionnaires

2. Questionnaires can be submitted via email (apawvet@gmail.com), fax (301.552.4347), or dropped off at A.P.A.W.

By January 22, 2011, A.P.A.W. will select 5-7 pets from all submitted questionnaires to participate in our version of the Project: Pet Slim Down ™. The program will last 16 weeks. Participants will receive an individualized diet plan for their pet and will be required to come to A.P.A.W. once monthly for weigh in’s. A.P.A.W. will provide exercise and work out support and participants will be eligible for free food and gifts for participating in the program. We will showcase the progress of our participants via Facebook so our fans can provide additional encouragement and support. Participants must be comfortable with their pet being photographed for A.P.A.W.’s Facebook Fan Page. We look forward to an exciting 16 weeks where you and your pet learn how to live a healthier, slimmer life.



Holiday Hazards and Pet Tips

Written By admin at 03:27 PM on December 23, 2010

The holiday season is a time for celebration, but can also be a time of trouble for your family pet!  For example, mistletoe, poinsettias, and artificial snow are poisonous; Christmas ornament fragments can perforate the stomach; if swallowed, string, ribbon, and tinsel may cause painful intestinal problems; frayed light cords can cause shock or burns.  Please keep these potentially dangerous items out of the reach of your furry family members.  Don’t spoil your holiday with a medical emergency. 




Prepping for holiday meals can lead to wonderful aromas being smelt throughout the house.  Your pet’s sensitive nose can pick up on these scents and may often lead them to be underfoot while one is cooking.  Keep an eye on your pet since hot containers with turkey or ham drippings can easily spill over leading to scalding burns.  Avoid the temptation to give your pet any turkey or chicken bones since they can splinter or get lodged in their throat or stomach causing serious discomfort.  Also avoid giving them any food spiced with onion or garlic which can be toxic and cause the destruction of red blood cells.  Raisins are a no, no too since they can be both a choking hazard and be toxic to your pet’s kidneys.   



Holiday Hazard

Written By admin at 04:12 PM on December 21, 2010

In case you missed this on our website, A.P.A.W. wants to spend the next few days reminding you about the seasonal hazards that may be harmful to your pet.  Are you planning a special get together?  Stocking up on all the holiday goodies?  Beware of guests who may give your pet cookies, chocolate and other sweets.  These treats are not healthy for them.  Your pet’s digestive system is not adapted for such rich foods, and chocolate contains theobromine, which can be harmful and sometimes fatal.   If you suspect your pet has ingested a harmful treat, please seek treatment as soon as possible. 




Stay tuned for more ways to help keep your pet safe during the holiday season.



Seniors & Pets – What Type of Pet Should a Senior Consider?

Written By admin at 03:04 PM on December 16, 2010

What Type of Pet Should a Senior Consider?

As a senior, it is important to think about the type of pet you will bring into your life.  A puppy can often require a tremendous amount of energy so a senior may want to consider a senior pet instead.  With senior pets, what you see is what you get.  You know their full grown size, their personality, and their grooming requirements.  Senior pets are also very loving and are easier to train since they can focus better than a smaller dog and they often come already trained – a big bonus that a senior will not have to worry about.  Senior dogs have an easier time fitting into a family since they have already learned how to get along with others and to be a part of a pack.  Lastly, senior pets still need exercise, but they require a lot less than younger dogs. 

Seniors may also want to consider getting a small dog versus a larger dog.  Small dogs are easier to handle and lift into the car for vet visits.  They are very protective of their owners and need less exercise than larger breeds.  “Lap dogs”, as many small breeds are often known, tend to have a quieter, sweet disposition and love attention from their owners.  Below is a list of some breeds to consider for seniors:

  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Poodle
  • Maltese
  • Pug
  • Chihuahua
  • Boston Terrier
  • Cardigan Corgi
  • Welsh Corgi
  • French Bulldog
  • Beagle
  • Dachshund
  • Miniature Pinscher
  • Schnauzer
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • American Eskimo
  • Many mixed breed dogs



Seniors & Pets – Your Pet… Your Prescription

Written By admin at 02:23 PM on December 14, 2010

Do you consider yourself a senior?  Do you have a close senior like a parent or grandparent in your life?  It has been well documented that pets are good for seniors helping them to live their “free time “in a meaningful way.  Pets help seniors to improve or sustain their alertness, decrease their absent mindedness, and provide a natural outlet for caring and cuddling.  The benefits of a pet to a senior can be broad-spectrum in nature, including lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, boosting moods, and providing more exercise for its owner.  Overall, pets support seniors in a healthier, more relaxed, more physical and more social lifestyle.   This holiday season, a pet may make a good gift for your senior loved one, but please be sure to take into account the financial commitment for your senior, their physical condition, and whether their living situation will allow pets.

If you are a senior that uses Facebook and has a pet, log onto our fan page and tell us what your pet has done for you or why you love your pet: APAW Facebook Fan Page.

As a continuation of this topic, in my next blog I will cover what types of pets are good for seniors.



Remember to Vote for you Favorite Pet!

Written By admin at 10:27 PM on November 09, 2010

Remember to vote for your favorite pet in their halloween costume. Voting ends Nov 16 and winner will be announced Nov 17.

Click here to see the contestants and vote!



A.P.A.W.’s Halloween Pet Costume Contest

Written By admin at 04:59 PM on October 26, 2010

What is your pet going to be this Halloween?  Have you heard that A.P.A.W. is having a Halloween Pet Photo Contest!  Check our facebook page for details on how to participate or vote.  As we head into the season, we think it’s worthwhile to share a few do’s and don’ts for your pet this Halloween: 



  • Make sure you purchase and try on your pet’s outfit a few times before Halloween
  • Do not keep your pet in their costume for hours on end.  Dress them pet right before an event since many costumes can make your pet feel warm.  Keep in mind that cats are not fond of wearing clothes so they should only stay in their costumes for a very short period of time (like length of the photo!)
  • Carry water to keep your pet hydrated
  • Avoid any small pieces on their costume that can be swallowed
  • Do not force your pet to dress up if they do not want to.  Consider a fun bandana or festive leash instead
  • Do not use kids’ costumes on your pets.  The elastic on kids costumes can be too strong and can cause irritation around your pet’s head and neck areas
  • Do not leave out Halloween candy or allow pets to have chocolate candy as it is toxic to pets
  • Put pets away and make sure their id collar is up-to-date since many pets escape through open doors when trick-or-treaters come by
  • Keep outdoor cats indoors on the eve of Halloween and Halloween to keep them safe from pranksters and away from the increase in foot traffic which can be very stressful


Last but not least, remember to stay safe and enjoy this holiday and all it has to offer.  We can’t wait to see how many Count Barkula’s and IronMutt’s sign up for our contest! 

- the A.P.A.W Team



A.P.A.W. presents seminar to Prince Georges and Charles Counties Police

Written By admin at 05:39 PM on October 22, 2010

For those of you who passed by the office on Wednesday, do not be alarmed.  The 20 or so police cars parked out front did not reflect a problem or terrible event at APAW.  Yesterday afternoon, the APAW team presented the first in a series of seminars for the Police of Prince Georges and Charles counties on the care of their Working dogs.  As many of you know APAW takes care of  the working dogs in Greenbelt Police , Prince Georges Bomb, Drug and Recovery canines, Prince Georges Correction Dogs, and Prince Georges Park Police Departments.  These dogs have unique needs and are exposed to toxins and diseases the average dog does not encounter.  The seminar covered, basic care, nutrition, disease management, toxic and drug overdose treatment, canine CPR, gunshot and emergency management, bandaging etc.  The seminar was a great way to ensure the best care for our working dogs and to enhance the working relationship between the department and the hospital.  All participants and presenters found the seminar very helpful. 

- Dr. Salmon