The veterinary resources featured on this page provide useful information to pet owners on a variety of topics related to veterinary medicine and pet health care.

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Veterinary Education

Following graduation from veterinary school, Dr. Alan Kirmayer, our Chief of Staff, completed an internship in medicine and surgery followed by a residency in internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine. His residency responsibilities included clinical care as well as teaching third and fourth year veterinary students.

Dr. Kirmayer also has extensive post-graduate training in ultrasound and echocardiographic imaging, endoscopy, and medical oncology. Dr. Kirmayer has completed the qualifying process of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He is credentialed in autogous stem cell therapy.

Dr. Lisa Whalen joined our staff in August of 2007. She earned an undergraduate degree in Nova Scotia and attended one of only four veterinary schools in Canada. Following graduation from the Atlantic Veterinary College on Prince Edward Island, Dr. Whalen relocated to Pennsylvania to commence general practice in veterinary medicine and has been practicing in the area since 2000. She has extensive experience in general medicine, general surgery, oncologic surgery, acupuncture, and pain management.

Dr. Whalen is currently accepting patients in these disciplines, providing general preventive care, as well as consulting on more complex medical and surgical cases. She completed extensive training in veterinary acupuncture and is now accepting new patients for acupuncture therapy.

Dr. Harpster received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Bucknell University in 1973, a Master's degree in Physiology from the Pennsylvania State University in 1975. Later, he earned a VMD degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1981.

Prior to veterinary school, Dr. Harpster was a Marine Biologist with the Florida Department of Natural Resources, Marine Research Laboratory, in St. Petersburg, Florida from 1975 to 1977. During his veterinary career, Dr. Harpster was also a co-owner of a veterinary/emergency hospital from 1985-2002, and served on the Pennsylvania State Board of Veterinary Medicine for eight years, five of these years serving as Chairman.

Animal Hospital of Rye on Facebook

2875 Valley Road
Marysville, PA 17053
P: (717) 957-3991
F: (717) 957-3941

Congratulations to Erin Ehrisman!

dog reggie hydro therapyOur very own Erin Ehrisman, veterinary technician, here at the Animal Hospital of Rye, has passed her continued education and become a Certified Canine Rehab Practitioner.

Learn more about Pet Rehabilitation Therapy here.

If you or someone you know have a cat or dog that would benefit from Physical Therapy, please give our office a call at 717-957-3991.

We look forward to seeing you and your pets!

Summertime is a fun time for both pets and humans alike. More trips to the dog parks, sports, swimming, and vacation time! But along with this fun come many dangers and risks to your pets. Here are a few of the risks that pose the most danger.

dog on leash 1. Heat stroke

Heat stroke is one of the most dangerous things about the summertime for humans and pets alike. The difference is we can control our surroundings but pets need our help. Pets can quickly overheat and dehydrate. Leaving your pet in a hot car for just a few minutes can be deadly. Temperatures rise approximately 10 degrees every 10 minutes even with windows down. If you are not planning to be in the car at all times with your pet, or are not able to leave the air conditioner running, please leave your pets at home. It is much safer for them.

Brachycephalic dogs are at a more increased risk of overheating, so special attention and care is required when taking these breeds out in the heat.

We recommend walking all dogs first thing in the morning before the sun is at its peak or in the evening when the sun has gone down. If you must walk during times of peak heat, please try to walk your pets in the grass. As a general rule of thumb, if it is too hot for your bare-feet, it is too hot for your pets! Walking your pets on hot cement can cause very painful blisters.

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a tick-borne bacterial disease that can cause arthritis, kidney damage, and death in both dogs and people. Lyme disease is currently located in every US state.

Exposure to Lyme disease may be greater in dogs than in humans, because dogs spend more time outdoors. Ticks are prevalent year-round, making prevention efforts even more important.

dog tickWhat are the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease?

  • Lameness
  • Anorexia
  • Fever
  • Stiffness
  • Joint pain/swelling
  • Depression

Your pet may have Lyme disease and show no symptoms at all.

Animal Hospital of Rye is on Facebook! Be sure to view our page regularly for hospital information, helpful pet tips, and updates. We also encourage you to Like Us on Facebook and become a fan!

PuppiesCongratulations on your new puppy!

Puppies can be very exciting and a joy to have but they can also be a lot of work. Lucky for you canines are wired to make house training possible. But you have to help your new puppy be successful.

Here are some tips to help get them house trained so that you can live a joyous happy life with your new puppy companion.

dog running agility 350pxIt’s spring time finally, and, hopefully, that means nice weather, too. With the Appalachian Trail and lots of other beautiful nature trails nearby, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Hiking is a fantastic way for you and your dog to get exercise while experiencing lots of new sights, sounds, and smells. 

Here are a few tips to keep your pup safe while you both enjoy the beauty of nature.

Over the years, veterinary medicine has become more technologically advanced and the costs of care have risen. One way pet owners can help with veterinary care costs is by purchasing pet insurance. Pet insurance can be used to help offset the costs of veterinary care or most if not all of the costs of diagnosing and treating your pet’s illness or injury.

Pet insurance isn’t for everyone and there is no one-size-fits-all formula for figuring out if it’s right for you and your pet. If you are thinking about pet insurance you can talk with your veterinarian and do some basic research on the Internet.

Here are a few things to consider when looking for pet insurance:

While cat vomit is common among cats, it is not always normal. A vomiting cat can be a complex problem, while hairballs are common for grooming cats, chances are that isn’t the reason your cat is vomiting.

Stop using the excuses:

  • “It’s just a hairball-it is normal.” You will know if it is indeed a hairball because they will vomit all hair.
  • “He eats too fast.” While this could be the case there could be other reasons why he is eating fast and causing him to retch.
  • “He/she has a sensitive stomach so it is normal that he/she vomits all the time.” This is not normal and needs to be looked into further. Many times a diet change, or addition of medication can help with sensitive stomach issues.
  • “That’s just the way he/she is.” If you vomited twice a week you wouldn’t think this is normal. So why do you for a cat?

cat senior

Many diseases, such as gastrointestinal disease, renal failure, inflammatory, or other liver diseases, pancreatitis, and even lymphoma can cause chronic vomiting.

Vomiting that isn’t chronic may be a sign of poisoning. Here are a few things that can cause poisoning; in home items such as house plants, over the counter medications, prescription medications, dietary supplements, vitamins, human foods, household cleaners, topical flea/tick treatments, essential oils, and insecticides/rodenticides.

With winter comes chemical-laden roads, sidewalks, and driveways. Your dog may not be eating the pellets, but their feet are coming in contact with them. Unfortunately, while ice melt decreases the risks of slips and falls to humans and their furry counterparts, they pose other risks if in contact with the skin or ingested.

dog in snowThe most common types of ice melt are sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium salts or urea-based material. Here are the risks associated with each of these types of ice melt for pets.

Sodium Chloride

Mild ingestions of sodium chloride lead to minor gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting and diarrhea. Larger ingestions, can lead to sodium toxicosis, which can be very detrimental to your pets health.

Potassium Chloride

This is a severe irritant and can cause gastrointestinal irritation to the point of hemorrhagic vomiting and diarrhea.

Magnesium Chloride

Ingestions of ice melt containing magnesium can be very irritating and cause some gastrointestinal upset.

Calcium salts

Calcium salts are the most severe irritants in ice melts. Ingestion of calcium salts can cause severe gastrointestinal sings as well as local irritation with skin contact.

Scheduling a procedure in which your pet needs to be anesthetized can be scary. While every procedure carries some risks- it is best to talk to your veterinarian before you panic.

Here are some of the most common myths about anesthesia:

Beagle Puppy Surgery RecoveryMyth #1: Anesthesia complications are common.

Complications do occur, but death is very rare. Studies show that for healthy cats and dogs the risk of death is approximately 1 in 2000. For animals with pre-existing disease it is approximately 1 in 500. Well trained veterinary teams will take every necessary precaution to minimize risks during anesthesia. We take into account every aspect of your pet’s health when coming up with the proper anesthetic protocol.

February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and to celebrate, we are offering 10% off Pet Dental Packages from February 1-28, 2017!

Now you may be wondering, How do I know my pet is suffering from dental pain? Unfortunately, our furry companions can’t talk to tell us when they are in pain or have a tooth ache. So we have to be diligent and rely on clues or changes in behavior that can help us identify a problem with their mouth. Here are a few things that may point to dental pain:

  • No signs at all - Yes, you read that correctly! Dogs and cats rarely show signs of dental pain. This is an instinctual behavior, so that they do not look like weakened prey to other predators.
  • Bad Breath - Odor is a result of bacterial process. In pets with periodontal disease, there is an increase in bacteria so odors increase.
  • Change in Behavior - Chewing on one side of the mouth or decreased chewing, hiding, lack of grooming, and lethargy can all be signs of dental pain. Look for these abnormal behaviors as a clue that your pet has a mouth problem.
  • Bleeding - Bleeding from the mouth is usually due to periodontal disease. But there could also be lacerations in the mouth, abscesses or ulcers. Thick ropey saliva, or blood on toys/bedding could be an indication of any of the above problems.

pet-vaccine-needleThe main reason to vaccinate is for prevention. The cost to treat pets who are diagnosed with diseases such as Rabies, Parvo, Feline Leukemia, etc., versus the cost to vaccinate is huge! The risk associated with your pet contracting one of these sometimes fatal diseases is another important reason to vaccinate your pet.

Keeping your pet indoors does not prevent these diseases from spreading. Fleas and ticks can easily be brought indoors on your clothing, spreading the disease to your canine or feline friends. Small rodents such as field mice can also bring diseases into your home.

What vaccines does my pet need?

The answer varies based on your pet’s health and if they go outdoors (including cats), or frequent kennels or dog parks. The only vaccination currently required by Pennsylvania law is the Rabies vaccination. Cats and Dogs over the age of three months are required to be vaccinated, whether they leave your house or not.