The Animal Health Bulletin
Healing Springs Animal Hospital
Serving Family & Farm Since 1979
Dogs, Cats, Equine, Bovine, Small Ruminants, Camelid
Healing Springs Animal Hospital
107 Nuckolls Curve Rd
Galax, VA
(276) 236-5103


Volume II, Issue VII

July 2006


        Healing Springs Offers Expanded Hours

        Benefit Dog Wash – July 29

        Free Dental Clinic for Dogs & Cats

        Dogs’ Flea Control Can Kill Cats

        Two Positive Coggins in Pulaski County



Pet Portals Login






Healing Springs Offers Expanded Hours

Open Until 7PM Tuesdays and Thursdays


As of August 1, Healing Springs will offer the most convenient hours for veterinary medicine around.

Tuesdays & Thursdays: 8 am to 7 pm

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 8 am to 5 pm

Saturdays: 8 am to 2 pm

Sundays: closed

As always, hospital phones are forwarded to the home of the veterinarian on-call when the office is closed.  We are on-call for your veterinary emergencies 24/7/365.


- Hot Spots -

The Skin Infection Often Confused with Gunshot Wounds


Benefit Dog Wash – July 29

Healing Springs H.E.L.P. fund, a fund created by Healing Springs employees to help families with very sick or injured pets, will soon hold a benefit dog wash.  Find the dog wash at Healing Springs Large Animal Receiving Facility on SAT July 29, 2006 from 1-5PM.  Rain or Shine.  Free dog wash.  Donations will be accepted.  Concessions and shopping available.




The wrong flea control can be fatal to cats and dogsFree Dental Clinic for Dogs & Cats


Healing Springs Animal Hospital will hold an informational dental clinic for dog and cat owners on August 8, 2006.  Bring your pets to have their teeth and gums examined by a trained veterinary assistant.  Staff will make recommendations, provide demonstrations, and give out samples.  Information available will include: importance of dental hygiene, oral care food and treats, at home dental care (brushing, rinses), before & after photos of previous dental procedures, detailed pictures of dental cleaning in animals, and information on pre-anesthetic bloodwork.  Schedule a free appointment today: (276) 236-5103.


Fact: Dogs and Cats live longer

if they receive dental care as needed throughout their lifetime.


Order dental care supplies from Healing Springs online!


Dog’s Flea Control Can Kill Cats


In the past week, Healing Springs Animal Hospital has seen two cases of cats being poisoned by flea control intended only for dogs.  The ASPCA Poison Control Center reports receiving thousands of calls about this every year.  This problem does not occur with Frontline. 


The problem comes from a flea control ingredient called permethrin.  While permethrin is safe on dogs, even small amounts of the ingredient on the skin of cats can cause deadly problems.  Permethrin is common in flea and tick control purchased at grocery stores and big-box stores.  Because of its popularity, Hartz flea and tick control products are often involved with feline permethrin toxicity.  One of the few high-end flea and tick controls containing this cat poison is K9-Advantix.  


Signs of permethrin toxicity in cats include tremors, muscle twitches, and seizures.  Symptoms can develop in two to 48 hours.  If your cat is exposed to permethrin, handle the situation as an emergency.  Call Healing Springs immediately.  After regular business hours, your call will be forwarded to the home of the veterinarian on-call so he or she can arrange to meet you at the hospital.  Left uncontrolled, the symptoms of permethrin toxicity can prove fatal to cats.  Fortunately, Healing Springs has a high level of success treating this problem with medication, IV fluids, bathing, and other supportive care. 


Consider two strategies for protecting your cats from permethrin toxicity.  The best strategy is to use Frontline Plus in your household for pets’ flea and tick control.  While problems may arise if highly excessive amounts of the product are used on a small cat, the product itself is safe enough to be used on an eight-week old kitten (always follow dosing instructions provided on the package).  If you do not use Frontline, carefully read the packaging and all inserted materials that come with other products.  When a product states “not for use on cats,” take them seriously.   




Frontline Plus

online from

Healing Springs




Two Positive Coggins in Pulaski County


Coggins, Equine Infectious Anemia, EIA, Pulaski CountyOn June 28, the Virginia Department of Agriculture announced that two horses in Pulaski County tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (the disease detected by Coggins tests).  Dr. Richard Wilkes, department director and state veterinarian stated, “These horses prove that this disease is still present in the state even though the numbers of new cases annually is small.  Horse owners can help control the spread of this disease by getting a Coggins test annually even if they are not traveling with their animals.” 


EIA History

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) was first identified in 1904.  This often-fatal virus has no vaccination and no cure.  The disease can affect any equine including horses, donkey, mules, and minis.  Research on medicines for the disease has been discouraging, but researchers have taken a renewed interest in EIA because it has been found to be closely related to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).  The test was developed about 40 years ago by Dr. Leroy Coggins.  The Coggins involves pulling blood from the equine and looking for specific antibodies that the equine would have developed while trying to fight off the EIA virus.


Signs of EIA

The EIA infection progresses through three stages.  In the acute stage, the horse will appear depressed, uncoordinated, and feverish.  This stage may last several days.  This is the time when the horse is most likely to spread the disease to other horses.


The second phase is the anemic phase.  Anemia refers to a decrease in the amount of red blood cells.  Weight loss, recurring fevers, and general weakness characterize the second phase of EIA.  Many horses die in the first two phases.


Horses that survive the first two stages enter the chronic stage.  In the chronic stage, horses often appear normal.  They can easily become ill again when subjected to stressors such as bad weather or shipping.  The horse is infectious in all three stages, and mares infected with EIA can pass it to their foals. 


Horses do not transmit EIA directly to other horses.  EIA moves from one equine to another only through blood.  Blood sucking insects serve as the most common carriers of EIA with horseflies ranking at the top of the list.  EIA can also spread when horse owners use one hypodermic needle on multiple animals. 


How EIA Spreads & How to Protect Your Equine

Since flies carry EIA from farm to farm, Coggins tests are more about being a good neighbor and citizen than they are about protecting your own horses (since most EIA positive horses are euthanized by their owners).  Healing Springs and the Virginia Department of Agriculture both recommend annual Coggins testing for all equine.  If transporting equine across state lines, most states require a negative Coggins test no more than six months or 12 months old (varies from state to state). 


Healing Springs recommends two basic strategies for protecting your equine from EIA.  (1) Do not introduce an animal into your herd unless it has been previously tested.  (2) Only participate in equine events that thoroughly check all participants for negative Coggins tests. 


Use our online Foaling Date Calculator.  

Also gives vaccination schedule specific to pregnant mares. Access the Foaling Date Calculator by logging into Pet Portals and Clicking on the Pet Tools tab.


















Ovitrol Plus

for horses

Kills & Repels flies, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, & gnats.




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Healing Springs Animal Hospital

(276) 236-5103

107 Nuckolls Curve Rd

Galax, VA  24333


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© BMA 2006