Category Archives: Uncategorized

Aston Veterinary Hospital : Pet Blog: Halloween Costume Contest

Calling All Halloween Lovers!
Send us a photo of your pet in a costume and you could win a $50 gift card to our hospital!

To enter:
Like our Facebook page and send us a direct message on Facebook with your pet’s photo by Sunday, October 23rd.

On Monday the 24th we will post all of the photos in an album and then voting will begin! Vote for your favorite photo(s) by “liking” them or using your favorite reaction. The photo with the most “likes”/”reactions” will be our winner and will be announced on October 31st!

We encourage you to share your picture, or the album, with your friends and family to increase your chances of winning.

Good luck and may the best costume win!

*One photo per pet. If you have won a contest more than once, we ask that you please split the prize with the 2nd place winner. To keep this lighthearted and fun, pictures shared to “like for like” groups or those similar, or others deemed unfair or inappropriate, will be disqualified.

2015 Halloween Contest Winner – Frazier and Riley

Aston Veterinary Hospital : Pet Blog: Found Dog!

Aston Veterinary Hospital : Pet BlogAston Veterinary Hospital : Pet Blog

Please help us find this dog’s owner!!

A female pit bull mix was found in the Brookhaven area on Creek Road next to the swim club. She does not appear to be spayed and looks to have had a litter of puppies. She is approximately 45 pounds and she is light brown with no microchip. She’s very friendly. If you have any information or know who her owner might be, please contact Shana at 610-848-8530.

Aston Veterinary Hospital : Pet Blog: National Dog Biscuit Day

National Dog Biscuit Day is Tuesday, February 23, so celebrate your best friend with a special treat!  Biscuits are a good way to reward and train your pet, but in moderation.  Be sure to check calorie content of their treats and incorporate them into your pet’s dietary needs.  Break the biscuit into multiple pieces because even a small piece of a biscuit serves as a reward to your pet.  You may also consider low calorie options like frozen green beans.

Aston Veterinary Hospital : Pet Blog: Black Cat Appreciation Day

National Black Cat Appreciation Day was yesterday, August 17. Did you know that black animals are less likely to be adopted than their light-colored shelter mates? Black cats are often overlooked by potential adopters because of old myths and superstitions that they are bad luck. Please remember that these beliefs are not true! A black cat could be the perfect addition to your family.

The lower adoptability of black pets is known as Black Dog Syndrome. In addition to superstitious beliefs of black cats, black pets are also less likely to be adopted because of size, unclear facial features, the “genericness” of black pets, and more. Fight the stigma and adopt a black cat (or dog) today!

Aston Veterinary Hospital : Pet Blog: We’re Always Learning

The doctors and technicians at Aston Veterinary Hospital are committed to lifetime learning. This allows them to continually enhance their knowledge and skills and learn the most up-to-date information about various topics to better help your pets.

Several staff members have recently attended continuing education conferences. Dr. Becker returned from the AAHA Conference in Tampa, Florida, where she attended lectures about emergency and critical care medicine. Dr. Hiller went to the Penn Annual Conference in Philadelphia and attended lectures about dermatology and endocrinology. Two of our technicians, Liza and Mary Anne, also attended the Penn Conference and listened to lectures about ophthalmology and blocked cats.

As the year goes on, our staff will continue to attend different conferences. Our primary goal is to provide your pets the best veterinary care. Test our knowledge and ask us some questions.

AAHA Tampa Conference 2015

penn vet

Aston Veterinary Hospital : Pet Blog: Intestinal Parasites in Pets

Our pets can be reservoirs for parasitic infection which can not only be a health problem for them, but can be a source of human infection. During the warmer months we all enjoy spending more time outdoors. Our pets may venture to the park for a hike, to the beach for a swim, or to the dog park for a play date. All of these places are a potential source of infection with all types of parasites. Fleas and ticks are external parasites. Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and giardia are common types of intestinal parasites. They can be contracted through contact with infected feces, soil or sand. The eggs of these parasites can live in the environment for many years in some cases. This contamination puts our pets and our children at risk due to their tendency to play on the ground.

The best ways to prevent infection with intestinal parasites are frequent hand washing, dispose of your pet’s feces promptly, have your dog’s and cat’s stool sample tested regularly, and use a monthly broad spectrum anti-parisiticide such as Heartgard or Revolution.

Please contact us at 610-494-5800 for more important information on how to keep your pets and your children safe!

Aston Veterinary Hospital : Pet Blog: Heartworm and Prevention

Mosquito season is upon us! Everyone knows that mosquitoes are pests, but did you know that they pose a dangerous threat to your pets? Mosquitoes can transmit a serious and potentially fatal disease to cats and dogs called heartworm disease. In heartworm disease, long worms live in the heart, lungs and surrounding blood vessels. This can result in severe lung disease, heart failure and other problems that can persist, even after the worms are gone.

There is no treatment for heartworm disease in cats; and in dogs, the treatment can be expensive and complex. Therefore, heartworm prevention is our best option! Monthly preventatives are available for both cats and dogs. Please give our office a call at 610-494-5800 and ask how you can make sure that your pets are protected.

Aston Veterinary Hospital : Pet Blog: Pet Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is a holiday that humans and animals can enjoy together. There are many exciting aspects of Halloween but that doesn’t mean there are no risks. See below and read how to have fun while keeping your animal friends safe.

CANDY – Don’t feed your pets Halloween candy! Chocolate in all forms, especially dark or baking chocolate, can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is found in most sugar-free candy and it is also toxic to animals. Also be sure to throw away all wrappers as they present a choking hazard.

CANDLES – Make sure to keep any lit candles or jack-o-lanterns out of reach from pets. They are attracted to the bright light and can either burn themselves or cause a fire.

CHIP YOUR PET – Make sure your pet is properly identified with a microchip and collar and tag. They can easily escape through an open door when you greet trick-or-treaters or while trick-or-treating. Only 22% of lost dogs and less than 2% of lost cats that are not microchipped are ever returned to their owners.

COSTUMES – Make sure any costume you put on your pet fits properly and is comfortable. Also make sure that it doesn’t have any pieces that can be chewed off and doesn’t affect your pet’s seeing, hearing, breathing, or moving. You should also avoid any costumes with metal pieces. Some metals (like zinc) are dangerous if ingested. If your pet does not want to wear a costume, you should not force it. Never leave your pet unattended while he or she is wearing a costume.

DECORATIONS – Make sure to keep all wires and electrical cords out of reach of pets. If they chew on them, they could suffer from cuts, burns, or receive a shock. Also keep pumpkins and decorative corn out of reach. While these are considered relatively nontoxic, they can produce stomach upset if ingested.

GLOW STICKS – Although the liquid in glow sticks and glow jewelry has not been known to be toxic, it causes pain and irritation in the mouth and will make your pets salivate excessively and act strangely.

KEEP YOUR PET INSIDE – There have been reports of pranks being played on pets that are outside. You should bring any outdoor cats inside a few days prior and a few days after Halloween as well. If you bring your pet trick-or-treating with you, make sure you keep them on a leash with a firm grip. Animals can be spooked by all the people and costumes they may see. While inside, put them in a safe space where they are comfortable. The constant motion of trick-or-treaters at the door can be stressful and upsetting to pets.

We hope you have a wonderful and safe Halloween full of devilish dogs, cool cats, boo bunnies, and more!

Aston Veterinary Hospital : Pet Blog: Hot Spots

A “hot spot” (also known as pyotraumatic or moist dermatitis) is a skin condition that occurs when an animal constantly bites, licks, or scratches an area of itchy skin. The skin becomes inflamed and infected and often appears as a moist, oozing, reddened area that is painful and very itchy. If there is hair at the area, the hair will hold in moisture and irritate the skin more. The condition worsens if the animal continues to bother the area and it is common to notice a small affected area in the morning and a larger one in the evening. Because the lesions are warm to the touch, they are called hot spots.

Hot spots are treatable but it is important to also identity the underlying cause to ensure the prevention of future hot spots. A visit to your veterinarian may be required depending on the severity of the lesion. Any hair in or around the lesion will be trimmed and removed so the area can be thoroughly cleaned and topical medications can be applied. Your veterinarian will prescribe oral antibiotics for about three to four weeks to treat the infection and may also prescribed corticosteroids (such as prednisone) to help with the itching and pain from the inflammation.

One of the ways you can prevent hot spots is by removing exposure to allergens. Animals can have environmental allergies, such as grass, trees, or dust mites, or they can also be allergic to food. Avoiding fleas, mites, insect bites, and skin wounds in general will also help prevent your pet from developing hot spots. You can use an Elizabethan collar, or “e-collar,” to keep your pet from agitating the spot further.

Aston Veterinary Hospital : Pet Blog: Pet Obesity

Did you know that obesity is not just an epidemic in humans but also in pets? According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), over 57% of dogs and 52% of cats are obese and these numbers are on the rise. Much like humans, obesity in pets can lead to diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, joint problems, and ultimately a shortened life expectancy.

Based on a survey created by APOP, a surprising 93% of dog owners and 88% of cat owners thought their pet was in the normal weight range. This disparity is known as the “fat gap” and is thought to be one of the primary factors in the growing rate of pet obesity. To tell if your pet is a healthy weight, use this scoring system. Your pet should rank at about a 3 if he or she is a healthy weight.

To keep your pet at a healthy weight, take care in providing him or her with a healthy diet and ensuring the proper amount of exercise. Pet foods have become more calorically dense and people are feeding their pets more. If your pet is already overweight or obese, talk to your veterinarian about the best course of action. Your vet will probably recommend a controlled diet and specific type of food.

It can be hard to know what the proper caloric intake and weight should be for your pet so APOP has provided a few useful tables to help. This information does not replace the advice of your veterinarian and should only be used as a starting point.

Pet Caloric Needs –

Ideal Weight Ranges –