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Dear Daisy Dog During her annual exam, my dog Misty tested positive for Lyme disease on the SNAP test. The veterinarian vaccinated her but did not treat her for the disease. Another veterinarian recommended an antibiotic. Which treatment is correct? Daisy Responds If you had asked one more veterinarian, you might well have received a third recommendation: to conduct a Lyme C6 quantitative antibody test and base the treatment decision on the result. According to a poll conducted in May by the veterinary journal Clinician’s Brief, veterinarians are evenly divided among the three treatment options. Let me explain the theory behind each, to help you become a better informed member of Misty’s heath care team. First, let’s look at the decision not to prescribe an antibiotic but to vaccinate instead. The SNAP test showed Misty had been exposed to Lyme disease. She wasn’t sick, so your veterinarian felt she required no treatment. Moreover, the potential risks of antibiotic use may outweigh the negligible benefits in this situation. Furthermore, no study has proven that treating non-clinical Lyme-positive dogs prevents them from getting sick later. With regard to Lyme vaccination, the SNAP test proved Misty’s lifestyle exposes her to ticks, so your veterinarian vaccinated her to prevent disease in the future. Many veterinarians also recommend a product that kills ticks, such as K9 Advantix or Frontline Plus. The second option, to treat all dogs that test positive, is employed by one-third of veterinarians, because they feel the antibiotic is relatively safe and inexpensive, and they’re not very concerned about bacteria becoming resistant to it in the future. Finally, one-third of veterinarians recommend an additional test, usually the Lyme C6 quantitative antibody test to determine exactly how high the dog’s antibody level is. Levels below 30 indicate exposure but not active disease. On the other hand, if the C6 quantitative test detects antibody levels over 30, most veterinarians treat with an antibiotic. The SNAP test shows only whether the dog has antibodies but doesn’t measure the level. All three treatment options are considered acceptable. Unfortunately, no one knows yet which will prove to be the best course.

Dogs & Cats must be vaccinated for rabies as required by Pennsylvania law

Vaccinations are a critical part of preventive care for your pet. Vaccines protect our pets from many diseases including rabies, distemper and Lyme disease (May is Lyme disease awareness month and we’ll have a full story about it tomorrow). Each dog and cat is different, so our veterinarians develop custom vaccinations plans for each pet. Our veterinarians will determine which vaccinations your pet needs and how often they will be administered. For more information about our vaccines, go to or call to schedule an appointment 610.488.0166

Ask the Vet’s Pets: Our Own Dr. Lee Pickett Discusses the Heat & Your Pets

Ask the Vet’s Pets is an entertaining, educational veterinary advice column written by Dr. Lee Pickett and her pets. If you have a dog, cat or other pet and would like to learn more about veterinary care, please click here. You’ll find 800 pages of answers to questions asked by other pet lovers. One of Dr Pickett’s columnists is Daisy Dog. Daisy Dog is the pen name of Annie, an English setter rescued in 2005 at the age of five. She is bright, affectionate and eager to please.

Dear Daisy Dog

Now that the weather has turned warm, our Bernese mountain dog, Jack, digs through the mulch so he can lie in the cool soil. He’s tracking dirt and mulch into the house, and I’m the cleaning lady. Help!

Daisy Responds

I do the same thing, because the soil is so deliciously cool. Mom reacts as you do -– then immediately gets out the doggie pool (called a kiddie pool in the stores), sets it in the shade and fills it with cool water. The pool is even more fun than the dirt, because I can lie down in it, dunk my toys and splash my wolfhound brother. You won’t mind Jack’s dripping coat if you give him a summer “teddy bear” haircut. Get rid of the long, thick hair, but leave a few inches to protect his skin from the summer sun. If Jack doesn’t like water, you can cool a shaded area of the patio by hosing it off occasionally. Or entice him with a wood pallet covered by tile or a sheet of vinyl. If his Swiss mountain heritage is particularly strong, you may need to position an electric fan at a shaded outdoor area. Or just explain to him the virtues of air-conditioned indoor living during the warm summer months.


A recent survey conducted by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) has listed the top pet names for both dogs and cats. The company tapped its own database of 485,000 insured pets to create the list. For dogs, the most popular name was Bella, followed by Bailey, Max and Lucy, respectively. Cat parents chose Max most often, followed by Bella, Chloe, Oliver and Lucy. The company also released a list of the top 10 most unusual pet names of 2010. Topping the list for dogs was Pickle Von Corndog followed by Lord Chubby Pruneface. For cats, the company selected Purr Diem as the top creative feline moniker, followed by Bing Clawsby


Did you know…
  • Cats have 32 muscles that control the outer ear (compared to human’s 6 muscles each). A cat can rotate its ears independently 180 degrees, and can turn in the direction of sound 10 times faster than those of the best watchdog.
  • Cats’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans and dogs. Cats’ hearing stops at 65 khz (kilohertz); humans’ hearing stops at 20 khz.


For those of you who are not aware of the amazing things that Barrie does in our community, just read the interview below! • Where are you originally from? I was born in Reading, PA and have lived here most of my life with the exception years in the military and the State Police. • Describe your role in the area pet community? I got my start in the area of animal rescue about 20 years ago as a volunteer with Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue. I was then asked to serve on the Board of Directors for the Animal Rescue League of Berks County and am now in my 11th year as president of the board. In addition I serve as Chairman of the Animal Control Board for the City of Reading and am a member of the Board of Directors of Crime Alert Berks that will now pay rewards for tips on animal abuse or animal cruelty. One of my rescue dogs is also a certified therapy dog so she and I make visits to schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and many public appearances on behalf of the Animal Rescue League. • What would you say is the most important impact that your organization has? The Animal Rescue League is the only open door shelter in Berks County. It is the place where no animal is left behind – even the ones that other shelters will not take. We contract with all of the municipalities in the county for animal control, investigation of abuse and cruelty cases, perform large animal rescue, and handle between 10,000 and 11,000 animals each year. In addition we offer low cost spay and neuter services along with a low cost vaccine clinic each month. We work with various breed rescues, cat rescues, cat TNR programs, and have developed several new innovative programs to help keep pets in their homes and healthy and happy. Among these are our Grey Muzzle program which takes older or unhealthy cats and dogs and places them in foster homes until they are healthy and a forever home can be found for them. We also started a BARC (Beginning Animal Rescue Correctly) program which provides every adoptive family the opportunity to work with a certified animal trainer and learn about special problems adopted animals may face until they settle into their new home. • What would you say was the one greatest pet related, community accomplishment that you have had? I would say making the Animal Rescue League more visible in the community. By doing this we have reached and educated a good deal of the population and have changed many attitudes about animal welfare. We were able to get support that lobbied to pass the two “Puppy Mill” bills, and I feel we are now making an impact in the community by being more visible and partnering with several other community organizations • Does your organization have a big annual event? With have an annual Dog Days Gala, but have several other events throughout the year some fund raising some just fun and educational. • What is your organization’s biggest need? As I am sure is true in most non-profits our biggest need is always funding. We are never sure what will come into the shelter or in what condition that animal will come to us. So funding is always an issue. We started a Noel Fund named after a Jack Russell terrier that came to us after being struck by a car just before Christmas several years ago. That fund is restricted to paying expenses for injured animals that come into the shelter. As you can imagine making decisions on what to do with that fund is never easy so the more funding we get for it the more animals we can save. • At what point in your life did you realize that you had such a deep connection with pets? I have always loved animals. As a small child I remember my parents having a litter of Cocker Spaniels and of a special one named Twinkle who slept under my bed every night. • List your pets and names throughout the years (including childhood ones): Since there are so many starting in my childhood I will only list the current ones Lillie Marlene a five year old Great Pyrenees Certified therapy dog born at the shelter. Bubba a 14 year old Golden from DVGRR that we adopted when he was 7 years old and heart worm positive, and seven cats two in the barn and five in the house all from the ARL. Barn: Momma Cass and Stella, in the house Nittany, Aspen, who we got when they were 2 weeks old, Victoria, Heidi, and Nicholas. • What kind of food do you feed your pets? They all get Blue Buffalo food and treats, however Bubba and Lillie do get pizza crusts and Lillie loves ice cubes. • Personal questions: o What is your favorite movie? Casablanca o What kind of music do you like? Classic Country o What was the last book that you read? 10 Secrets my Dog Taught Me, by Carlo De Vito. o Where was your last vacation? The Pyrenees Mountains in France and Spain. o What is your favorite restaurant? Panevino Italian Restaurant in Downtown Reading PA o If you could meet with anyone in the world, who would it be? Since I am a WWII history buff I would have to say General Patton. o Other personal facts that you think might be interesting: My favorite wild animal is of course the Nittany Lion.