You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Close [x]

Social Media

       The Rest of the Tail - Summer 2017

Lake Chatuge Animal Hospital         ​                   www.lakechatugeanimalhospital.com

Tri-County Animal Clinic                                 www.tri-countyanimalclinic.com  


What’s New at Lake Chatuge Animal Hospital?  HBOT

And what exactly is HBOT?  Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.   This therapy has been used for many years in human medicine to treat such conditions as air bubbles in blood vessels, “the bends” (decompression sickness), carbon monoxide poisoning, wounds that fail to heal, crushing injuries, gangrene, infection in skin or bone where the tissue dies, radiation injuries, burns, skin grafts/flaps where there is dead tissue and anemia.

Our hyperbaric oxygen chamber is a pressurized tube where your pet’s lungs are able to collect up to 3x as much pure oxygen than available under normal breathing conditions.  This pure oxygen travels throughout the body in the blood stream, encouraging and promoting healing.  Your pet is placed in the chamber for up to 90 minutes.  A low dose sedative is sometimes necessary and encourages relaxation and sleep during the procedure.

Why is HBOT used?   This therapy is showing success in reducing swelling, stimulating new blood vessels to form, relieving pressure from head or spinal cord injuries, healing of wounds and controlling infections.  It can help in speeding up the healing process and may also make other invasive surgical procedures unnecessary, saving you time and money.

We are pleased to be able to offer yet another option for your pet’s care and treatment which is our top priority.  This may prove to be a timely option to help your pet turn the corner on the road to recovery from conditions that are life threatening or have not shown improvement with conventional means.

To recap, here are the most common conditions treated by HBOT: 

Rattlesnake/spider bites                             Abscesses Swelling tissue

Infected/non-healing wounds                     Animals hit by cars Smoke Inhalation

Carbon monoxide toxicity                           Herniated discs Pancreatitis

Near-drowning/asphyxiation                       Burns ...and much more

Head/spinal injuries

Ticks!  They’re everywhere!!

Have you seen them yet?  I have.  In fact, without even knowing it, I showed up to work one day wearing a small one attached to the back of my ear—not my idea of a fashion statement.  Thankfully, Justin came to the rescue and removed it for me.  I work in my garden a lot and we have woods all around the perimeter with deer and other wildlife that come and go. 

We all know what ticks are.  However, some life stages of ticks are so small they can be mistaken for a speck of dirt or a freckle. I took a tiny one recently off my neck before it had attached and had to put my glasses on to identify it because it was so small.  They can be as small as a poppy seed.

Because ticks cannot fly or jump they must wait for their prey to come to them and then jump aboard.  The tick's saliva also carries a natural anesthetic so you or your pet may not notice being bitten. 

You do know that ticks can carry infections and transmit them to people when they bite, don’t you?  Tickborne diseases can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. Many of the diseases ticks carry cause flu-like symptoms, such as fever,  headache, nausea, vomiting, and muscle aches. Symptoms may begin from 1 day to 3 weeks after the tick bite. Sometimes a rash or sore appears along with the flu-like symptoms. Common tick-borne diseases include:

                  Lyme disease                          Rocky Mountain spotted fever

                  Tularemia                                Ehrlichiosis

                  Relapsing fever                      Tick Paralysis


Tickborne diseases are a serious problem in this country because people increasingly build homes in formerly uninhabited wilderness areas where ticks and their animal hosts live.  They are especially prevalent here in the Appalachian Mountain region where we enjoy seeing many of the wildlife that harbor ticks such as deer, foxes, coyotes, etc.  Most people become infected through tick bites during the spring and summer months, but ticks are considered a year-round health risk.   

So it is especially important now as spring bloom has produced an abundant army, to make sure that your pet is protected with a veterinarian-approved tick-control product such as:  Bravecto chews that provide 3 months protection for fleas and ticks, Seresto 8 month flea/tick control collars, NexGard or Simparica popular monthly flea/tick chews, or Activyl monthly topical.  We are also offering a new tick prevention and control product for cats, Bravecto topical for 3 months protection.  It can be used with monthly topical Revolution that prevents and controls all the other important parasites (fleas, heartworms, major intestinal parasites and ear mites).  Monthly Revolution and quarterly Bravecto is the ideal feline parasite protocol. 


We’re not talking about the latest “COOL”  place to hang out.  Hot spots are red, moist, hot and irritated lesions that are typically found on your pet’s head, hip or chest area. They can be painful and irritating when your pet licks, chews or scratches at the affected area, making it worse. 

Hot spots can start from an allergic reaction, insect bites, lack of grooming, skin infections and stress or boredom-related licking.  Pets that have matted and dirty coats, those that are constantly wet or those that just start licking a given area can be prone to developing hot spots.

Immediate attention is necessary in order to prevent these spots from requiring more extensive treatment.  Take your pet to your veterinarian right away for an exam.  Once the most likely cause is determined, treatment might include:

· Shaving hair around the area for cleansing to allow air and medication to reach the wound

· Antibiotics, painkillers and anti-inflammatories *

· Medication to prevent and treat external parasites

· E-collar or other means to prevent self-trauma as the area heals    

· Balanced and/or hypoallergenic diet and dietary supplement containing essential fatty acids

To prevent hot spots, groom your pet on a regular basis, practice year-round parasite prevention, prevent boredom and stress with exercise and play-time.

* Cytopoint injections or Apoquel oral tabs are the new highly affective treatments that control/stop itching



Dietary indiscretion is a gastrointestinal upset occurring when a dog or cat eats something that their

bodies cannot tolerate like:

                                 Table scraps                                                     Garbage

                                 Spoiled food                                                     Different kind of food than normal

This problem is very common and can be hard to avoid because that pleading face looking up from the floor is sometimes just too irresistible for us.  We think that just a little piece of this or that won’t hurt.  When in reality, we may be setting our pet up for tummy issues and/or a steadily growing waistline.

Sometimes we run out of the regular kind of food and just pick up any kind/brand thinking that it’s all the same.   Remember to always go slow when changing to a different kind of food, mixing some of the new with the old and gradually increasing the percentage until the switch is complete.

How about the cat (or dog) that likes to go counter-surfing.   I’ve got two cats that will make sure that I didn’t leave anything out for them – ON THE COUNTER – whenever I exit the room.   I can hear them jump down from the counter as I am coming back into the room.  They then sashay up to me with that sweet look on the face …. “Oh, hi, mom ….twirly, twirly around my legs …  can we have a snack …  meow, puuurrrrrr, meow …. ?”

I’m sure someone out there has a pair of dogs that are always getting into the garbage but the one licking his lips also has the most innocent look on the face, placing the blame on the other guy.

Symptoms of dietary indiscretion include diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite and weakness which is very similar to food poisoning in humans.  And although most cases respond to treatment and resolve with 72 hours, some severe cases can lead to a life-threatening acute GI obstruction or pancreatitis.

Most cases are diagnosed based on the detailed history from the pet owner, symptoms, a physical exam and routine fecal tests.  Mild cases can then be resolved with probiotics, a bland, easy-to-digest diet and plenty of rest.   Your veterinarian may prescribe fluids to treat dehydration.

Severe cases may require blood tests, imaging (X-rays and/or ultrasound) or other diagnostics to rule out other possible causes and complications and may require hospitalization and intensive care.


Snakebites are a fact of life for dogs and humans in a wide area of North America. Venomous snakes range all across the country with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii. Many owners are unaware of venomous snakes when they are visiting different parts of the country and can put their pets at greater risk.

The Unites States has fifteen species of rattlesnakes; two kinds of water moccasins and two kinds of coral snakes. Here is a representation of these venomous snakes: Copperhead, Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin), Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Timber Rattlesnake, Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake,  Eastern Coral Snake.

If your dog is bitten by a venomous snake, don’t panic, but seek veterinary care. Here’s what you should also do:

· Try to identify the snake by taking note of its size, color patterns and the presence or absence of a rattle at the end of the tail (don’t pick it up)

· Look the dog over carefully for fang marks, noting that there may be more than one bite wound.  Be careful because snake    bites are very painful.

· Start your journey to the nearest animal hospital while trying to keep the dog as quiet as possible.

Be sensible while out walking by controlling your dog with a leash.  Don’t allow him/her to explore or dig in holes in the ground.  Walk on open paths during the daytime.  If you hear a rattlesnake, get control of your dog and move away.

Dogs at risk should be vaccinated with rattlesnake vaccine.


If you live in an area where you see deer regularly, ticks may hitch a ride into your house on you or your dog or cat.  Here are the most common ticks likely to bite dogs, cats, horses, and humans in the Spring and Summer months:

American Dog Tick (or Wood Tick) can transmit disease-causing agents including Tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Blacklegged Ticks (Deer Tick) are infected with Lyme diseaseanaplasmosisbabesiosis and Powassan virus.

Brown Dog Tick prefers indoor habitats and carries Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Long Star Tick is a very aggressive tick that bites humans and transmits Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii (which cause human ehrlichiosis), tularemia, and STARI (southern tick-associated rash illness).

This is why Veterinarians advise year-round parasite control and prevention not only for ticks but also for other important parasites including heartworms, fleas, and the major intestinal parasites.   If you only practice parasite control 5 months out of 12, your pets are at risk even if you are using very effective preventive products. This lack of year- round compliance is the biggest problem and why pets are still getting infected. 

We recommend the following as your BEST choices for year-round parasite prevention and control:

Trifexis with Scalibor 6-month collar or Effitix monthly topical

Advantage Multi with Seresto 8-month collar

Heartgard Plus with Nexgard or Simparica monthly chews, Bravecto quarterly chews, Seresto 8-month collar, or Activyl monthly topical

ProHeart 6-month injection with Activyl monthly topical, Seresto, Nexgard, Simparica or Bravecto

Choices will depend upon your preferences for oral, topical, collar or injection.  Contact LCAH or TCAC with questions and help in selecting the right options for you and your pet and to take advantage of great rebates only offered through your veterinarian.


Come join us for the 6th Annual Pet Celebration at Historic Hayesville Square on Saturday,  September 23, from 8:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.  Dr. Hilty Burr and Dr. Lynn Stevenson of Lake Chatuge Animal Hospital and Dr. Jim McClearen of Tri-county Animal Clinic and their staff, along with Clay County Chamber of Commerce, are sponsoring a full day of events celebrating the human/pet bond and the pure joy pets bring to our lives.

There will be activities including “Ask the Vet” live radio show, reduced cost pet vaccinations, games, demonstrations, entertainment, music, pet parade/costume contest, pet product artisans/vendors, all day raffle, great food and refreshmentsWeiner Dog race and much, much more.   All proceeds will go to participating area pet rescue groups/humane societies who will be offering “Adopt-a-Pets”. 





You don’t want to miss it!   For more information contact Lake Chatuge Animal Hospital (706-896-1244), Tri- County Animal Clinic (828-837-0050) or the Clay County Chamber of Commerce (828-389-3704 or 877-389-3704).  You can also visit the website:  www.ncmtnchamber.com