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We’re on Facebook!

The Grand and Hulen Hills Animal Hospital are on Facebook! Go to www.Facebook.com and search Hulen Hills Animal Hospital. Follow us by becoming a fan. We look forward to getting to know you and your pets through this forum! In the upcoming year, our resolution is to get to know our community a little better. What you like, who you are, who your pets are and what you want from us!

Pet Parasites Don’t Take Vacations

Pets share our homes, our kitchens, and, in some cases, even our beds. Unfortunately, they might also be sharing some unwanted guests – WORMS! Unlike fleas and mosquitoes who sometimes give us a break during colder weather, these parasites can cause problems all year long! That’s why The Grand is so diligent about requiring our guests to have a stool sample test twice a year. We want to keep them and your family safe.

Most people don’t realize it, but most puppies and kittens are born with roundworms, hookworms or even both. In the vast majority of cases, these worms are passed from mom to the babies either during pregnancy or during nursing after birth. Left unchecked, these tiny monsters can cause poor growth, diarrhea, vomiting, or even death in young animals.

Adult pets aren’t immune to these parasites either. Pets who consume other animals’ feces, eat grass, or even those who catch and eat infected rodents might end up with bloody, runny stool or vomiting caused by the worms.

But beyond their immediate effects on the animals, there is an even more sinister side to these pests. Both roundworms and hookworms are zoonotic, meaning that they can be passed to humans. Children are especially susceptible.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that almost 14% of the U.S. population is infected with roundworms. That’s nearly 40 million people!

Why are we at danger? The answer lies in the life cycle of these parasites. After the larval worms make their way to the puppies’ digestive tract, they mature into adults over a 3 week period of time. Then, the scary part begins. Adult female worms begin shedding enormous numbers of eggs into the environment. It’s not unusual for more than 200,000 eggs to be shed every single day by a single female. Now, imagine a mother dog with a litter of 9 puppies. Including mom’s contribution, even if each pup had only one female worm, more than 2 million eggs are being deposited daily into the yard where the puppies…and your kids, play. Multiply that by the number of days until the pups get an initial de-worming and you can see why this is a problem that has not gone away.

Roundworm eggs are also very hardy, able to survive for about two years in the environment. This makes places such as dog parks or other areas where dogs roam, potential danger zones for becoming infested. In people, this infection causes an intense itching sensation along with redness and swelling along the migratory track of the hookworm larva. Dogs often present with hair loss on all four feet and thickened, damaged skin on the lower legs.

Due to the prevalence of these worms in our pets, Hulen Hills has developed “strategic de-worming” protocols as a means to help protect both people and pets. Starting with puppies and kittens, we routinely administer de-worming medication. In addition, we urge pet owners to use Revolution, a monthly heartworm prevention product, that contains medication to control these intestinal parasites. Both dogs and cats should use Revolution every month, all year round!

Parents should teach children to wash their hands after playing with the pets or playing in the yard where pets defecate. Since the eggs are microscopic, you won’t see any evidence on the kid’s hands, but a thorough washing will help insure these parasites won’t end up infecting your children. It’s also a good idea to check your pet’s stool sample routinely. The short life cycle of these parasites means that a severe infestation can occur quickly.

Also, many other parasitic worms and protozoans pose some danger to our pets and these can all be found with a routine fecal sample. As you know, we do a stool sample test twice a year during your pet’s wellness exam. We also administer a de-wormer twice a year, to kill any parasite that may be lurking. Our pets are a big part of our lives and we want to share as much as we can with them. Playing it safe and following our guidelines for de-worming could mean that you can share a much longer, healthier life together!

Life’s a Party at The Grand!

Our Playcare Pack had a blast at Reggie and Rockie’s Grand birthday party. Their mom worked with our team to arrange for yummy treats and fun parting gifts. The party was held on the lawn outside in the beautiful sunshine. It was a great day and a grand time had by all! If you’re interested in arranging a birthday party for your furry friends, just give us a call. Click here to view more party pics!

Life Lessons from Katie

We love pets, and we know you do, too! To honor the special relationships we have with our furry family members, The Grand would like to share a column by Marti Healy that ran in the Aiken Standard. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Life Lessons from Katie (By: Marti Healy)

Katie is gone. And there is a Katie-spaced hole in my heart. She was my ancient, long-haired, calico cat, a true and loyal friend for the better part of 18 years. She was something over 21 years old. I had lost track of her actual age, I’m afraid.

She was asleep in her soft comfy bed, in the cool of the night, out under a waxing half moon and a handful of broken stars. It was exactly where she insisted on spending her final night on earth. Perhaps she sensed it was closer to God’s hand. And so he was able to take her gently, quickly, lovingly.

Katie was a frequent subject of my columns. In her later years, she was deaf as a stone, almost blind, struggled with incontinence and lived in an interesting, highly creative world just this side of reality. Wrapped in the cotton wool known as “feline dementia,” she frequently forgot who I was. She was often surprised that there seemed to be dogs living in her house – other times they simply didn’t exist to her. And, at the most unpredictable times, she sang what seemed to be very loud, very off-key, Broadway musical numbers in a voice that could peel wallpaper. Life with Katie was always interesting, never more so than as she progressed in age.

At first I searched methodically through all of her medical records, trying to find exactly how old she was. But since she was a foundling (as are all of my animal buddies) and fully grown at the time she came to live with me, her actual date of birth was always a best guess anyway. Eventually, I began to remember an observation I made long ago about cats and age … they simply don’t care. Age is completely and utterly irrelevant to them.

The dogs in my family have always celebrated their birthdays, of course. There are parties and funny hats and special doggy ice cream and presents to unwrap. Great fun. The cats, on the other hand, have never wanted parties per se. Treats should be daily and year-round. Hats should be worn only by dogs. And great fun can be had by simply watching said dogs wearing those hats.

Dogs love the silliness of birthday parties as well as the focused attention, it seems. After all, dogs are constantly celebrating important life highlights – from a mole uncovered to a delivery truck arriving, from dressed-up dinner guests in the dining room to newly planted flowers in the yard. Any occasion to dance and sing and be a bit of a show-off is greatly appreciated in the world of dog, I have found.

Life according to cats, however, seems to be much more in the moment, more fluid, one day to the next to the next to the next. The transitions from morning into night and back again seem to call to them with an unbroken rhythm. They sleep like liquid in the sun, then glide about in the shadows of the moon, all to an inner unceasing music of their own.

I’m sure Katie never gave a thought to or a whit about her age. She may have wondered why she didn’t find the ring from a milk bottle top terribly attractive of late – worth no more than a single poke and a shuttle under the refrigerator with it. She stopped jumping on the bed a couple of years ago, perhaps from old bones, perhaps from an increasing desire to be by herself. Her delusions appeared to keep her world interesting. And nothing took the place of a good long nap in a pool of golden sunlight or a quiet stroll under the silver-polished stars and a Carolina moon. Each was deeply appreciated one moment at a time.

I hope I have learned great lessons from both the dogs and the cats in my life. About celebrating all of the things that life gives us, as well as about living for this moment alone. They give me the best parts of themselves, always. I want to appreciate it adequately.

And, now from Katie, I greatly admire and accept with love this final breath lesson she has left me … about keeping life interesting, about dignity and peace and remembering to be near God’s hand.

Marti Healy is senior writer for The Design Group and author of “The God-Dog Connection” and a new novel, “The Rhythm of Selby.”

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Barks!

The Grand Pet Resort & Salon is proud to announce our new partnership with Smug Mug, a high-quality digital photo sharing service. Powered by Smug Mug, you will now be able to access photos from The Grand. Just click on the “Photos” tab above and click on the Smug Mug image. We will upload new image galleries each week for you to enjoy. The best part is, you can download photos to your computer free of charge or purchase printed copies. Smug Mug offers you a wide-selection of print sizes and gifts, including T-shirts, mugs, mousepads, etc. You can customize any of these products with a special photo of your pet — just in time to buy thoughtful holiday gifts for friends and family!

New Grassy Play Area Unveiled!

The Grand Pet Resort is happy to announce that we’ve removed the stone gardens from the backyard and replaced them with K9Grass, the only artificial grass designed specifically for dogs! We love our new play yard and are thrilled with the product because it is especially designed to fight odors, is durable enough to withstand a rough and tumbling Playcare Pack, and is crafted with antimicrobial protection, which keeps all of our guests safe and healthy! We are so happy that our V.I.P’s (very important pooches) are enjoying the extra space to run, romp and play!

The Pool is Open for Business!

There’s still a nip in the air, but our furry guests don’t seem to care. We just opened the pool for the season, and The Grand Pack celebrated with a rousing dip! Our signature bone-shaped pool is the place to be on warm days (or even cold days, according to the Labradors!). Our Pet Pals stay close by to ensure everyone plays and swims safely. We even have guests who haven’t mastered the doggy paddle, so we equip them with flotation devices that give them the extra courage they need to swim like big dogs. Pool time at The Grand is a unique experience filled with so much adventure! Stop by with your dog on a warm day and stay to watch the fun. 30 minutes of Pool Time is only $20. Our PlayCare Pack enjoys complimentary outings to the pool as an extra perk for their regular paw-tronage.

Doesn’t Your Baby Deserve a Grand Party?

The Grand Pet Resort sure knows how to throw a party. When Eitan turned three, our staff partnered with his mom to celebrate in a Grand way. The party set tails a waggin’ with festive hats, yummy treats and tons of rough-n-tumble games. Eitan wasn’t the only one to get gifts on his big day, all of his pals took home new chew toys and balls.  The special birthday boy joined a long list of canines who were lucky enough to celebrate their birthday at the Grand, including Reggie who had a Harvest Bash and Josephine whose owner hosted a pool-side party fit for a queen. If you’d like to treat your best friend to a Grand birthday party, contact our Guest Services team who will coordinate all the details.