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In This Issue
AAHA Accreditation
Laparoscopic Spay
Video - We believe in Magic!
The Hazards in Your Purse & Pockets
How Often Should I Feed My Pet"
Behavior Changes and Pain in Aging Cats
Thank You AHNA Staff!
Seasonal Links
Animal Welfare Community Calendar


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AHNA September 2012 Newsletter 
American Animal Hospital Association Accreditation 
With all the excitement of completing our building, we neglected to share with you something we are extremely proud of:  On June 14th, we successfully achieved re-accreditation by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)! This is a big deal in that every single day we live by the standards set by AAHA, and it is rewarding to be recognized for our attention to detail and devotion to the standards. We are also proud because our hospital was the first hospital to be accredited in Asheville (way back in 1979). That means 33 years of adhering to the highest standards offered by an accrediting organization - Click Here to read more about how accreditation benefits you and your pet.
Minimally Invasive
Laparoscopic Spay
by: Dr. Paul Duncan
When Harley first came into see us at Animal Hospital of North Asheville, she was in the midst of her heat cycle, and because dogs in heat have a higher bleeding risk due to their estrogen levels, we had to wait before proceeding with her spay. A few weeks later Harley was fortunate enough to have her spay done laparoscopically.

She came into the hospital the morning of her surgery wagging her tail and as happy as always except for being slightly unhappy that she did not get breakfast. Harley was very glad to hear that she would have her spay done laparoscopically because she knew that this would be less invasive, require less healing time, and be less painful.  In addition, there is a lower incidence of bleeding after surgery, the incisions are smaller and, most importantly, Harley would be able to - Click Here to read more about Harley's experience.
Video:We Believe in Magic!
with a note from Dr. Amy Plankenhorn

I have been very fortunate to be Magic's doctor and participate in his recovery. He was brought in to Animal Hospital of North Asheville so covered in mats that it was hard to even examine him when he arrived, but I could see that underneath the neglect there was a sweet, sweet dog with a lot of potential. Our amazing team of technicians and I mobilized to start his care immediately.  One of our certified veterinary technicians, Nan, agreed to stay later than usual that evening to help me with the procedures he needed. Thank goodness she did, since it took the two of us over an hour to shave the eleven pounds of mats, mud, and maggots off of Magic's body! He stayed here at Animal Hospital of North Asheville overnight to receive supportive care all night long by our overnight staff. I was so excited to see him the next morning, and although he was weak, he seemed so happy and grateful to be free.  It was very rewarding to see him walk proudly out to the Humane Society van that day.

The next week when I helped administer Magic's first therapeutic bath for his terrible skin lesions, we were happy to see each other again. He was a perfect gentleman during his long soaking process (as long as there was lots of petting and treats!). His foster mom, the Humane Society team, his groomer and I stayed in frequent contact during those first weeks, discussing his progress and his treatment plan. It's wonderful to see how he's thriving and learning to be a happy dog again, and it's thrilling to see how the community has been inspired by his courage. It's an honor to be part of his team!

Click here to see a touching video of Magic's journey from severe neglect to thriving health!
The Hazards in Your
Purse & Pockets

Most people don't give a lot of thought to what they put into their purse or pockets before rushing  off to a busy day of work or other activities. Keys, chewing gum, medication, grocery list - it's grab and go! When you return home and set your open handbag down, or forget to empty out your pockets before leaving your clothes lying around, then your pet can get into serious mischief.


Here are the five most common items found in purses or pockets that are toxic to pets:

  1. Sugarless gum and breath mints
  2. Cigarettes
  3. Asthma inhalers
  4. Human medications
  5. Hand sanitizer

Click Here to read more about the dangers these items pose to your pets.

S.T.E.P.S. Tip: How Often Should I Feed My Pet?

Deciding how often to feed your cat or dog is very important. Lifestyle, breed, illness, the number of pets and personalities in a household all play a part in deciding when and how often to feed. There are 3 main ways that our pets are fed: 1) free choice feeding, 2) food restricted feeding (meal feeding), or 3) time restricted meal feeding.

Free choice feeding is a method in which food is always available, so your pet has a choice of when and how much they will eat at a time. The amount of food provided is usually more than what they will normally consume in a day.  The advantage of free choice feeding it that is quick and easy. There are cats and dogs that prefer to graze all day long, and some of them regulate how much they eat without becoming obese.  However, the main disadvantage of free choice feeding is that some cats and dogs that do not have any restrictions on how many calories they are allowed in a day will become obese. Also, free choice feeding makes it harder to detect - to read about the different options when feeding your pet, Click Here.
Behavior Changes & Pain in Aging Cats

As cats age, we generally see changes in their behavior. The wild and crazy playful activities we associate with kittens gives way to adult cats sleeping in the sun and prowling around the house. We commonly presume senior cats will take even longer naps in the sun or on our beds. It is important, however, to differentiate normal feline behaviors from abnormal ones, as some behavior  changes in aging cats arise from pain and are definitely not normal.  


Click Here to read about the warning signs that your aging cat is in pain.   

Thank You AHNA Staff! 
We made it through construction! Our wonderful staff endured so many inconveniences and did it with a smile on their faces! They always made sure that our patients got the best of care. I'm sure you will agree that they deserved a little something special. 

Recently, we used our wonderful new Education Room for a Staff Appreciation Luncheon. Of course, as always, we had to care for our patients and thus had to eat in shifts, but everyone enjoyed a good lunch and a few minutes together to say, "Wow, we did it!." AHNA staff are the best!

Click Here to view a photo slideshow of staff appreciation day
The Best Vet in the World!
When I lived in Northern Virginia for 30 years, 15 of those years were devoted to full-time bulldog rescue. I was co-founder and chair of 'On the Rebound Bulldog Rescue Foundation.' We were really the ground-breakers in bulldog rescue, and I'm proud to say that we helped those other rescuers who came after us. We also taught those others grant writing, fundraising, and anything else they asked us.

As chair and fundraising chair, I became quite familiar with most of the veterinarians in the surrounding states, and was quite well known to them as well, as a very particular client. Before moving to Asheville, I sent out my "feelers," to those rescuers who are in the area, and asked a few breeders for references. Most of my responses pointed to your animal hospital - to read the entire testimonial, Click Here.  
Seasonal Links 
Here are links to articles that may be helpful to you in taking care of your pets.
Animal Welfare 
Community Calendar 
There are many ways that you can help our local animal   welfare groups. One way is to attend the many fun fundraising and adoption events that each group hosts. For the complete calendar of upcoming events, Click Here.  
Donation Needs: 

ChainFree Asheville
  • Igloos or Plastic Dog Houses
  • Water bowls
  • Straw
Animal Compassion Network
  • Grooming services 
  • Puppy pens 
Brother Wolf Animal Rescue
  • Blankets, towels, & pillowcases 
  • Clumping cat litter 

Asheville Humane Society  

  • Hot dogs
  • Dish soap
By embracing new knowledge and state-of-the-art technology, our mission at AHNA is to provide the highest level of medical, dental and surgical care possible; to deliver it with integrity and compassion for our clients, but most importantly, to constantly see ourselves through the eyes of our voiceless patients who understand only that we are gentle and kind; to have as our first priority, relief of their pain and discomfort and to strive to minimize separation from the people they love.