Category Archives: Services

Feline Leukemia Virus

By: Dr. Carol Edwards

Most of us have heard of Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV), a fatal and contagious disease of cats. It can cause severe and irreversible anemia, cancer, or terminal immunosuppression. One of the issues with the virus is that it can take a month to show up on a blood test. So even if your new cat or kitten has tested negative for FeLV, MAKE SURE TO RE-TEST a month later.

Transmission: Any body fluid can spread the virus. It is most commonly spread in saliva (bite wounds, shared food or water bowls, grooming each other) but can also be spread by blood, venereally, by the queen to her kittens before birth or through her milk.

Kittens are 6-7 times as susceptible to infection because of their immature immune system, and it is generally fatal for them. Infection: The virus infects tonsils and lymph nodes first, and then goes into the blood. Because this can take several weeks, a FeLV test is warranted a month or after any possibility of exposure.

Six-eight weeks after exposure, the virus goes from the bloodstream to actually enter the blood cells themselves and infect the blood cells. Once the virus is inside the blood cells, it is no longer detectable by routine testing. Specialized tests, called IFA and PCR can detect the virus. In adult cats with infected blood cells, the infection can become regressive or progressive.

Regressive Infections:

  • Most common
  • May remain latent (inactive) indefinitely
  • Generally not contagious
  • Requires a specialized REAL Time PCR test to diagnose

Progressive Infections:

  • Can result from any exposure, including Regressive Infections
  • Survival averages ~three years
  • Fatalities secondary to tumors are progressive anemia, immunosuppression, and others

As a result, we recommend FeLV testing:

  1. When you get a new cat
  2. A month after any possible exposure your new cat has had with any other cats
  3. If your cat should be exposed to any cat of unknown FeLV status
  4. If your cat should develop a new illness suggestive of FeLV, is responding poorly to treatment, or has vague, nonspecific symptoms.

If you’re ever concerned about your cat’s health, please call us at 717-697-4481.

What Is Wellness?

Your pet’s yearly appointment for a check-up and vaccinations is to keep your pet well. In that visit, your veterinarian is checking for problems visible on a physical exam. We examine your pet’s eyes, ears, hair coat, and skin, listen to the heart and lungs, palpate the abdomen, assess the lymph nodes, and look at the mouth and teeth. Any abnormalities will be discussed and treatment or additional testing recommended.

9067These tests might include: bloodwork, urinalysis, stool samples, radiographs, or ultrasounds.

Vaccinations are another way we keep pets well. Recommendations are based on the pet’s age and lifestyle.

Other routine wellness tests in southeastern PA include: at least yearly fecal samples to decrease the risk of transmitting intestinal parasites, which can be zoonotic (a disease communicable from animal to man), with potential serious consequences in children. Dogs are screened for heartworm (transmitted by mosquitoes) and Lyme, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma (all transmitted by ticks). Kittens are screened for feline leukemia and feline immunosuppressive virus.

As pets age, they are at risk for chronic illnesses such as kidney or liver disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, and cancer. These diseases may not be apparent to you in the early stages. “Wellness” bloodwork can detect problems earlier, and therefore the disease can be treated more effectively before the pet is noticeably ill, losing weight, etc. Wellness bloodwork can also be used as a baseline for future comparison.

If you have questions about why we make certain recommendations, please ask your veterinarian at your pet’s visit. A website that I often recommend to clients for additional information is: www.veterinarypartner.com. It is a good source for accurate information about a range of veterinary subjects.

Anne C Barnhart, VMD

A Note from Summit Search and Rescue

1 2 3

Summit Search and Rescue thanks Community Veterinary Partners and Winding Hill Veterinary Clinic for their continued support. Your financial support along with exemplary veterinary medical care for our K9’s is tremendously appreciated. In 2014 we had over 70 call-outs for our search services. These services are provided at no charge. From toddlers to senior citizens our bloodhounds were requested to assist in locating. Several finds were directly the result of the utilization of our K9 teams. We were requested for several criminal cases as well. A murder investigation, shootings, assaults, robberies, and home invasions are some examples where area law enforcement determined the need for a bloodhound team. K9 Apache, K9 Merit, and K9 Briggs touch the lives of many as they reach out to the community with programming. In an educational, interactive, and fun way we present the mantrailing bloodhound. The nose, the anatomical features of the bloodhound, and the science and theory of scent are discussed. Safety lessons are taught along the way. An anti-bullying assembly “K9 Merit has a Message – Be a Buddy Not a Bully” serves to build the self-esteem of each and every individual along with respect for the uniqueness of others. We will continue in 2015 to provide our search services and community programming throughout south-central PA. -Terri L. Heck CVT, BS Summit Search & Rescue President and K9 Handler

August 15th is Check the Chip Day! Is Your Pet Microchipped?

Is your dog or cat microchipped? In a study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters, only 22% of dogs and less than 2% of cats that were not microchipped were reunited with their owners. The return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52% and for cats it was about 38.5%. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) have joined together to create a day for reminding pet owners to have their pets microchipped and to keep the registration information up-to-date. “National Check the Chip Day” is this Friday, August 15th. A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder that is about the size of a grain of rice. Instead of running on batteries, the microchip is designed to be activated by a scanner that is passed over the area and then it transmits radiowaves that send the identification number to the scanner screen. Microchips are also designed to work for 25 years. Implanting the microchip is as simple as a quick injection between the shoulder blades and can be done in a routine appointment. No surgery or anesthesia is required and it is no more painful than a typical injection. You can take advantage of the day by making an appointment with us to have your pet microchipped. Then be sure to immediately register the chip. There are many databases that allow you to register your pet’s microchip but the one that animal shelters and veterinarians search first is AAHA’s Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool. Or, if your pet is already microchipped, you can check the chip’s registration information by going to the manufacturer’s database and making sure everything is up-to-date. Most of the time if an animal is microchipped and not returned to their owner, it’s because the information is incorrect or there isn’t any information provided. A microchip does not replace identification tags or rabies tags. Identification tags are the easiest and quickest way to process an animal and contact the owner. If the pet is not wearing a collar or tags, or if either the collar or ID tag is lost, a microchip may be the only way to find a pet’s owner. Rabies tags allow to others to quickly see that your pet is vaccinated against the disease. It is more difficult to trace a lost pet’s owners with rabies tags as it can only be done when veterinary clinics or county offices are open. Microchip databases are online or can be reached through the phone 24/7/365. You can use this useful flyer from the AVMA to keep a record of your pet’s microchip number and manufacturer.   Since 1981, Winding Hill Veterinary Clinic has been serving the unique concerns pet owners throughout Harrisburg and Central Pennsylvania. We provide full-service, comprehensive medical, surgical, and dental care for small animals. We offer a broad spectrum of diagnostic procedures through in-house laboratory testing and radiology. Our animal hospital features a well-stocked pharmacy, surgical suite, radiology suite, and a closely-supervised hospitalization area. We are members of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA), and Veterinary Information Network (VIN). We proudly sponsor the Last Chance Fund, which cares for abused and neglected, unowned companion animals. We also sponsor Summit Search and Rescue, a non-profit agency that provides mantrailing bloodhounds to assist local agencies in locating missing individuals.