Does your dog scoot his/her rear across the floor?

Old wives tale would mean that your dog has worms, right?

This tale is incorrect, your dog scoots across the floor because of anal glands (or anal sacs) that are irritating them.

What are the anal sacs?

Commonly called ‘anal glands’, the anal sacs are two small pouches located on either side of the anus at approximately the four o’clock and eight o’clock positions. Numerous specialized sebaceous (sweat) glands that produce a foul-smelling secretion line the walls of the sacs. Each sac is connected to the outside by a small duct that opens just inside the anus.

What is their function?

The secretion acts as a territorial marker – a dog’s ‘calling card’. The sacs are present in both male and female dogs and some of the secretion is squeezed out onto the feces by muscular contractions when the dog defecates. This is why dogs are so interested in smelling one another’s feces.

Why are the anal sacs causing a problem in my dog?

Anal sac disease is very common in dogs. The sacs frequently become impacted, usually due to inflammation of the ducts. The secretion within the impacted sacs will thicken and the sacs will become swollen and distended. It is then painful for your dog to pass feces. The secreted material within the anal sacs is an ideal medium for bacterial growth, allowing abscesses to form. The abscess will appear as a painful, red, hot swelling on one or both sides of the anus. If the abscess bursts, it will release a quantity of greenish yellow or bloody pus. If left untreated, the infection can quickly spread and cause severe damage to the anus and rectum.

 How will I know if my dog has anal sac problems?

“The first sign is often scooting or dragging the rear along the ground.”

The first sign is often scooting or dragging the rear along the ground. There may be excessive licking or biting, often at the root of the tail rather than the anal area. Anal sac disease is very painful. Even normally gentle dogs may snap or growl if you touch the tail or anus when they have anal sac disease. If the anal sac ruptures, you may see blood or pus draining from the rectum.

In some cases, the dog had an episode of diarrhea or digestive upset a week or two before the clinical signs of anal sac disease became evident.

How is anal sac disease treated?

anal_sac_disease_-_2009Problems with the anal sacs are common in all dogs, regardless of size or breed. If you are concerned that your pet may have an anal sac problem, call your veterinarian at once. Treatment for impaction involves expressing or emptying the sacs. If the impaction is severe or if there is an infection, it may be necessary to flush out the affected sac to remove the solidified material. Since these conditions are painful, many pets will require a sedative or an anesthetic for this treatment. Antibiotics are often prescribed and sometimes may need to be instilled into the sacs over a period of several days. In advanced or severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Most dogs will require pain relief medications for several days until the swelling and inflammation have subsided.

Is the condition likely to recur?

Some dogs will have recurrent anal sac impactions or abscesses.

“Overweight dogs tend to have chronic anal sac problems because their anal sacs do not empty well.”

Overweight dogs tend to have chronic anal sac problems because their anal sacs do not empty well. Each impaction may cause further scarring and narrowing of the ducts, leading to recurrences that are even more frequent. If this condition recurs frequently, surgical removal of the sacs is indicated.

Are anal sacs necessary for my dog?  Will removal have any adverse effects?

Anal glands produce the pungent smelling secretion that allows the dog to mark his or her territory. For our domesticated dogs, this is an unnecessary behavior and removal will not adversely affect your pet.

Are there any risks associated with surgical removal of the anal sacs?

“Removal of the anal sacs is a delicate and specialized surgery.”

Removal of the anal sacs is a delicate and specialized surgery. Some veterinarians perform this procedure routinely; however, in severe cases, your veterinarian may recommend referral to a board-certified veterinary surgeon. Some dogs will experience loose stools or lack of bowel control for one to three weeks following surgery. This occurs because the nerves controlling the anal sphincters (muscles that close the rectum) run through the soft tissues near the anal sacs. If the infection is deep and extensive it can be impossible to avoid damaging the nerves during the surgery. This damage resolves without further treatment in the majority of pets. In rare cases, the nerve damage is permanent, and e, it can result in fecal incontinence or the inability to control bowel movements, with constant leakage of feces from your dog’s anus.

As with any surgery, general anesthesia is required, this always carries some degree of risk. Advances in anesthesia drugs and monitoring continue to decrease these risks. For dogs suffering from chronic or recurrent anal sac infection or impaction, surgical removal is the best option to relieve the pet’s pain.

My dog is very nervous and sometimes seems to express his own glands. Is this normal?

“It is common for dogs to release the contents of their anal sacs, particularly if frightened.”

It is common for dogs to release the contents of their anal sacs, particularly if frightened. Some dogs even appear to lack control of the anus or anal sac ducts so that small quantities of fluid will drain out when they are resting, leaving an unpleasant lingering odor in the home. If your dog has this problem, you may elect to remove the anal sacs.

This client information sheet is based on material written by: Ernest Ward, DVM


Digital X-Ray Machine

Ward Animal Hospital uses a fully digital x-ray machine. It has been ideal in determining lameness and checking the closure of joints on young horses. It is also used for almost every small animal case to identify fractures or intestinal problems.

The greatest feature about the digital x-rays is that there is no developing of pictures required. The x-rays are accessible immediately after capture and then uploaded to the internet within 24 hours. After which you can view your animal’s radiographs online for your own reference or that of another veterinary specialist. We can also transfer your exam to a CD!

Digital X-Ray Taking and X-Ray


Demonstration Videos

These videos are intended to educate the public on how to properly administer injections and how to properly wrap and bandage a horse’s leg. Safety should be considered before attempting any of these procedures.

If you are not comfortable in a situation it is best to wait until you have assistance or bring the animal to the veterinarian for professional service.

The videos can be accessed by searching “Ward Animal Hospital” on or clicking the links below.

Overview of regularly used medications and needles
Demonstration on how to give intravenous injections
Demonstration on how to give intramuscular injections
Demonstration on how to give an intramuscular injection in an alternative location
Overview of leg bandage and leg wrapping material
Demonstration of how to bandage a horse’s leg
Demonstration of how to wrap a horse’s leg


Daily Check & Vital Signs

The daily check is a systematic scan of the horse from head to tail.

When?  Once a day at the morning feeding.

Why? If an abnormality is spotted early, it will be easier to treat.

If something raises suspicion, take the horse’s Vital Signs.

Important Note:

Both the daily Check and Vital Signs are much more meaningful if they are compared to a horse’s normals.

Readings taken when the horse is healthy should be recorded and used as a baseline for future reference.

Posture – Reading your horse’s body language.

  • Is his head down or up? Down, he might just be dozing or he might be feeling sick.
  • Is he holding one leg up? If it is a hind leg, he might be resting it while he is sleeping or it might be lame. If it is a front leg, it is probably lame.
  • If he is not standing, how is he laying down? Is he in a normal, peaceful sleeping position? Or is he restless, rolling back and forth with anxiety

Expression – What do his eyes and ears tell you?

  • Is he alert with ears forward and eyes bright?
  • If his head is down and his eyes are dull and he does not look up when you approach, you should be very concerned.
  • Do his eyes look peaceful and content or do they look tense and alarmed?

Appetite – Good appetite is one of the signs of good health.

  • Has your horse finished all of his feed from the previous feeding?
  • Has he been drinking at least 5 gallons of water per day?
  • Is he standing by his hay rack at feeding time waiting for his next meal?
  • Does your horse finish all of his feed 2-3 hours after you feed him?

Manure – What does his manure look like? It should be well-formed yet the fecal balls should easily break in half.

  • If the fecal balls are very dry and hard (and especially if you notice the horse strains when defecating) he is not drinking enough water.
  • Loose sloppy piles (more like “cow pies”) tell you that your horse’s feed is either too rich (too much grain, pasture or alfalfa hay), he is eating too much salt and water, he has an irritation in his digestive tract and has diarrhea, or he is very nervous.
  • If you see slime or mucous on his manure or long pieces of fiber from hay, it means the horse is either gobbling his feed without chewing, that the feed is passing through his body too fast, or that he has a dental problem and can’t chew his feed thoroughly.
  • If you see worms in his manure, it is way past time for you to deworm him.

Living quarters – Look at his stall or pen and his body for signs of distress: rubbing, rolling, or pawing.

  • Is his tail ruffled?
  • Is he covered with dirt or manure?
  • Is he sweaty or has he sweated and dried?
  • Are there new holes in his stall from pawing?

Limbs – Look for wounds, swelling or puffiness. If warranted, halter the horse and examine his legs by palpation. Develop a “feel” for normal texture and temperature of a horse’s legs. When the horse moves, does he place weight on all four legs equally or does he limp, bob his head, skip, or buckle over at he hoof or take short, stiff steps? These signs can indicate a lameness problem and you need to consult with you veterinarian.

Suggested hoof examination routine

  • Which leg is he resting?
  • Are his front legs ahead of their normal (vertical) configuration? If so, it’s probably because it’s more comfortable for him to bear weight on his heels but not his toes (associated with laminitis).
  • If his front feet alternately point and shift weight, there might be pain in the heel region (associated with navicular syndrome).
  • Are his hind legs positioned deep under his body? He might be trying to take the weight off his front feet (associated with laminitis).
  • Are his hind legs stretched out behind? This is often a sign of abdominal discomfort.
  • Is he reluctant to walk to the examination area? If so, try to conduct the examination where he is.
  • Wipe any mud or manure off the hoof wall and coronet.
  • Pick out all his hooves.
  • Note any sensitivity in the clefts of frog (including the central cleft) when using a hoof pick to clean them.
  • Look for embedded rocks, splinters, nails, etc. in any part of the hoof, including the coronet.
  • Test each branch of the shoe to see if it is loose.
  • Sight down the bottom surface of the shoe to see if it is still flat. Sometimes the heel of a shoe will be stepped on and bent.
  • Note if the shoe has slipped or twisted off to one side
  • Note if the shoe has slipped backward. (Be careful not to confuse this with a shoe that has purposely been set back by your farrier.)
  • Check the clinches to see they are tight or if they have opened up and started to pull through the hoof.
  • Look for signs of injury on the coronary band, bulbs, or lower leg.

The Vital Signs – Vital signs give an indication of the overall state of health. The results you obtain when you suspect a horse is ill will be much more useful if you compare them to the horse’s own “normal.” Approximate normal ranges are provided below.

Temperature – The average temperature of an adult horse at rest is about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The normal range is about 99 to 101 degrees F but an increase in temperature, by itself, is not cause for alarm. Often a 2-degree increase is not a problem, but 4 degrees above a horse’s normal is cause for concern. Younger horses often have higher temperatures than mature horses in the same environment. Temperature might also increase when a horse is exercised, excited, in pain, diseased, or is in a hot, humid climate.

How to take a horse’s temperature

The horse should be tied or held by an assistant. Use a 6-inch veterinary thermometer with a 2-foot string tied to it and an alligator clip or spring-type clothespin on the other end. Shake the thermometer until the mercury is at 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Lubricate the tip of the thermometer with room temperature petroleum jelly or a drop of saliva. Stand on the side of the horse, not directly behind him. Move the tail to the side by grasping the dock, not the tail hairs. Insert the thermometer gently into the rectum at an angle about 15 degrees above the horizontal. Attach the clip to the tail hairs so if the horse defecates, the thermometer won’t fall to the ground and shatter. Remove the thermometer after two to three minutes and take the reading.

Pulse – The average pulse rate of an adult horse at rest is about 30 to 40 beats per minute.

Age of horse versus pulse rate in beats per minute

Newborn foal: up to 120
Two week old foal: up to 100
Four week old foal: up to 70
Yearling: 45- 60
Two Year Old: 40-50
Adult: 30-40

Note: If a horse is excited, in pain, nervous, has a high temperature, is in shock, has a disease, or has just completed exercise, his pulse rate will behigher than normal.

How to take a horse’s pulse

Hold your index and middle finger over the artery (If you use your thumb, you risk getting your own reading confused with the horse’s). Once you have located an artery, be sure you can feel the pulse clearly and then count the beats in one minute, or if the horse is not still, you can count for 15 seconds and multiply by 4.

Where? Pulse rates can be taken anywhere an artery lies close to the surface of the skin. Just above the fetlock, use the palmar digital artery. Another pulse site is the mandibular artery on the inside of the horse’s jawbone. You can also use a stethoscope and listen to the heart directly. Place the stethoscope at the horse’s girth area just behind the point of his elbow. Count each lub-dub as one beat.

Respiration – The average respiration rate of an adult horse at rest is 8 to 20 breaths per minute. One inspiration + one expiration = one breath. Respiration increases with hot, humid weather, exercise, fever, pain, pregnancy and age. The respiration rate should never exceed the pulse rate.

How to measure a horse’s respiration

Watch his rib area and for one minute count every time he breathes in and out as one breath. This will be easier to see after a horse has exercised than if he is resting. You will have to become practiced to get an accurate count when he is resting.

Capillary refill time – Noting how long it takes for blood to return to blanched tissues is the CRT, a sign of general circulation. Normal is one to two seconds. If the CRT is prolonged, the horse is showing circulatory impairment and may be in shock. This is often indicative of a horse that has colic.

How to measure the CRT

Exert light thumb pressure on the horse’s gums for two seconds to cause the blood in the capillaries to be pushed out of the tissues, leaving a white spot the size and shape of your thumbprint. Note how long it takes for normal color to return to the spot.

Pinch Test – The pliability and resiliency of the skin is a good indication of the level of hydration. To determine if a horse is dehydrated, perform the pinch test.

How to perform the pinch test

Pick up a fold of skin in the shoulder or neck region and then release it. It should return to its flat position almost instantaneously, within a second or two. If the skin remains peaked for more than two seconds, this is termed a “standing tent” and it indicates some degree of loss of body fluid. If the standing tent is 5 to 10 seconds or longer the horse is suffering from moderate to severe dehydration and needs immediate veterinary attention.

Mucous membrane color – The color of the horse’s gums, conjunctiva (lining of eyelids), and nostrils can provide information about a horse’s overall condition and circulatory function.

Color of mucous membranes

  • Glistening, pink gums indicate healthy, normal.
  • Very pale or white gums indicate anemia or blood loss.
  • Bright red gums indicate a toxic condition.
  • Gray or blue gums indicate severe shock.
  • Bright yellow gums are linked with liver problems.

Lung sounds – The lungs should sound clear. There should be no rattles, wheezes or gurgles.

How to listen to the lungs

Place your ear or a stethoscope against the horse’s rib cage approximately in the area your leg would be if you were riding.

Gut sounds – The abdomen usually produces sounds indicating roughage and fluids are moving in the intestines. Excess gut sounds are generally less indicative of a problem than the absence of sounds.

How to listen to the gut sounds

Put your ear or a stethoscope to your horse’s flank. With practice, you should be able to determine if the gurgling, gaseous sounds are normal, in excess or absent.

Common Household Toxins

There are many dangerous substances in our homes and on our properties that can be poisonous to our pets. Here at Ward Animal Hospital, we frequently receive calls from clients regarding potential poisonings of their pets. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center receives over 150,000 calls a year relating to small animal toxin ingestion. They released a list of the most common small animal poisonings in 2010. That list includes human medications, insecticides, rodenticides (rat poison), human food, veterinary medications, chocolate, household toxins, plants, herbicides, and outdoor toxins.

Human Medications: Humans are prescribed medications by their physicians on a daily basis. Some of these medications are extremely harmful to pets if they are ingested, even in small amounts. The most common scenario is dropping a small pill on the floor, where the dog immediately laps it up as if it is a treat!

Of special concern are certain over-the-counter medications. Ibuprofen (Aleve), naproxen, Tylenol, and aspirin can all be extremely toxic to your pet. Please remember that just because a medication is safe for you, does not mean it is safe for your pet. If you have questions about the safety of an over-the-counter medication, or if you accidentally drop a pill or medication vial that your pet ingests, please call us for advice. It is always a good idea to keep human medications locked away in a medicine cabinet, far out of your pets reach.

Insecticides: The most common insecticide poisonings occur when flea preventative medications are applied to small pets (especially to cats) without reading the label instructions. Many of these over-the-counter products have warnings against their use on cats – please heed these warnings! Always read the labels of products you are using, and follow the instructions completely. Store the packages out of the reach of your pet.

Rodenticides: Rat poisons are commonly used around the house, yard, farm, and barn for obvious reasons. These products are designed to kill rodents, and they can be deadly to your pet as well! They are usually grain-based products to attract rodents, and the grain will attract your pet, too. There are many different products available and they cause a range of symptoms from seizures to internal bleeding. The safest situation is to never use these products around your home. However, if you must use them, place them in areas that your pet has absolutely no access. If your pet should accidentally ingest such a product, call us immediately! Though these products can be deadly, prompt treatment of your pet can usually prevent death.

If you have outdoor cats that catch rodents around your property, and you place rat poison to kill the rodents, remember this – if your cat catches a rodent that has ingested rat poison, the rat poison can transfer to your own cat’s system and cause toxicity.

Human Foods: Many foods safe for human consumption are not safe for your pet. Onions (and onion powder), garlic (and garlic powder), chocolate, avocados, grapes, raisins, and xylitol (a sweetener often found in chewing gum and some frostings) can be very dangerous to your pet. If your pet ingests any of these substances, please call us right away.

Chocolate causes toxic effects due to the methylxanthines (like caffeine) it contains. Chocolate toxicity usually leads to agitation, high heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and in extreme cases, death. The darker the chocolate, the more severe the toxicity.

Also remember that just because a human food is not specifically toxic, it can still harm your pet. Fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis, bones can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, blockages, and perforation, and raw foods can cause illness from bacteria such as salmonella.

Veterinary Medications: When your pet is ill or in pain, it is often necessary for our doctors to prescribe medications to treat the condition. Some of these medications are now designed by veterinary pharmaceutical companies to be flavored and chewable for ease of administration. This sometimes causes our pets to want to take more of their medication than necessary! Please remember to always keep your pet’s medication locked away in a medicine cabinet, far from their reach. Should your pet get a hold of their own medication package and ingest more than their usual dose, call us right away for assistance.

Household Toxins: Items such as bleach, ammonia, and other cleaners should always be kept out of reach of pets. Also keep in mind batteries, essential oils, and liquid potpourri can be very dangerous to your pet if ingested. And though not a toxin, lit candles can be a fire hazard, especially if a rambunctious puppy or kitten should knock one over.

Plants: Plants, both indoors and out, can be quite toxic to your pet. Sago palms are becoming more popular as decorative plants inside and outside the house. If your dog or cat should ingest any part of a sago palm, liver failure may develop. In addition, any type of lily is extremely toxic to cats, and just chewing a leaf or petal may cause kidney failure. Around the holidays, remember that poinsettias can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested by your pet. Keep all bouquets and potted plants out of reach.

Herbicides: Many of us spray our gardens and lawns with herbicides to keep those pesky weeds at bay. Remember to keep these bottled products out of reach of your pets. After their use, allow them to dry completely before you allow your pet into the area that has been sprayed.

Outdoor Toxins: Antifreeze, fertilizers, and ice melts are all toxic to your pet. The most concerning of these is antifreeze. Just one lick of antifreeze can cause severe, irreversible kidney damage in both dogs and cats, which may take 2 to 3 days to occur. Pets will readily lap up antifreeze as the active ingredient, ethylene glycol, is a sugar and makes the product taste sweet. Clean up spills of antifreeze immediately. Should your pet ingest any antifreeze (even a tiny amount) do not wait for help – call immediately. Many cases of antifreeze toxicity can be treated successfully, but success requires immediate treatment.

What should I do? Should you find yourself in the unfortunate situation that your pet has ingested a toxin, please call us AND the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline at 1-(888) 426-4435. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have the largest database of animal poisoning information in the world. There are veterinarians there 24 hours a day 7 days a week to give you live saving information for your pet. In addition, should the poisoning be serious, they can provide us (your regular veterinarian!) with the information we need to effectively treat and monitor your pet.



Is your horse rolling? Looking at his flanks? Constantly getting up and down? Pawing?

Dealing With Equine Colic: Here are 33 Do’s and Don’ts

Understanding Colic-
Colic is not a disease, but rather a combination of symptoms and signs to alert us to abdominal pain in our equine friends.  If these symptoms are noticed they should never be ignored, colic can range from mild colic to a severe life-threatening colic.

Recognizing Colic

  • Looking at their flanks
  • Pawing
  • Kicking at their abdomen
  • Stretching out without urinating
  • Rolling
  • Sitting in a dog like position
  • Lack of appetite
  • Not drinking
  • No bowel movements
  • Little or no digestive sounds
  • Sweating
  • Repeatedly lying down
  • Depressing
  • Curling of the lip
  • Elevated pulse

Colic is the number one killer of horses!!

Canine Heartworm and Intestinal Parasites

Heartworm disease

Heartworm is a parasitic disease that can affect any dog regardless of age, sex or habitat. It is found in virtually all parts of the United States and many parts of Canada. Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes and tends to have a higher incidence in areas heavily populated by mosquitoes. Dogs are considered the most common host for heartworms, however, heartworms may also infect more than thirty species of animals (including coyotes, foxes, wolves, domestic cats, ferrets) and even humans, though transmission from animal to human (zoonotic infection) is extremely rare.

What are heartworms?

Heartworms are parasites that live in the blood of a dog’s heart and adjacent blood vessels. They can grow from four to twelve inches in length, reach maturation one year after infection and live for approximately five to seven years. Adult heartworms living in the heart produce offspring, known as microfilariae, which circulate in the animal’s blood. When a female mosquito bites an infected animal, it sucks out the blood containing the microfilariae. When the mosquito bites another pet, the infected larvae are transmitted. In many cases the infected dog will not show symptoms in the early stages.

Heartworm is the most serious common parasite for dogs because it stresses the dog’s heart by restricting blood flow and also damages other internal organs. The heart may enlarge and become weakened due to an increased workload, and congestive heart failure may occur. Left untreated, the disease can be fatal to dogs.

Blood screening tests can verify the presence of heartworms. Radiographs and x-rays are used to detect the disease in its later stages. Prompt detection prevents needless suffering.

Heartworm treatment and prevention

The good news is that most dogs with heartworms can be successfully treated, usually with drugs (immiticide) that kill adult heartworms. But prevention is the best cure – it’s safer, less expensive, and better for your pet!

There are a variety of options for preventing heartworm infection, including an injectable, monthly chewable tablets. Preventative medications are extremely effective and when given properly, on a regular basis, can completely prevent your pet from contracting heartworm. But remember, year-round heartworm protection is as good as your diligence in remembering to give your pet the prescribed medication, as directed by your veterinarian!

Canine heartworm symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue, a dog that tires easily
  • Listlessness
  • Weight loss
  • Rough hair coat

Ask your veterinarian

Because of the regional and climate-dependant nature of the heartworm cycle, it is crucial to consult your veterinarian before giving any medication to your pet. Your veterinarian is your best reference, with expert knowledge of the heartworm cycle and transmission patterns in your region, along with the individual health and activity profile of your dog. Before starting a preventative program, all dogs that could possibly be affected with mature heartworms should be tested as preventative medicines may cause severe reactions in dogs that already host the adult heartworms. A dog that is on a preventative medicine should be tested routinely to ensure ongoing protection especially when a dose has been missed or forgotten.

Can you catch heartworm and other parasites from your pet?

Mosquitoes transmit heartworm, not pets. Humans are unnatural hosts for heartworm- therefore cases of infection are rare. Many heartworm preventative medicines for pets do eliminate other parasites such as hookworms, whipworms and roundworms, which are more commonly seen in humans. Parasitic infections that can be transmitted from animals to humans are known as parasitic zoonoses.

  1. Hookworms- In dogs, hookworm infection occurs through ingestion or skin penetration of hookworm larvae found in the stools or soil contaminated by feces of an infected animal. The larvae then develop and migrate to the intestines where they hook onto the intestinal wall and feast on the host’s blood. The larvae of hookworms can penetrate the skin and infect humans through contact with soil or sand contaminated by feces of host dogs or cats. In a human host, the hookworm larvae do not migrate to the intestines and become blood-sucking adults as they do in pets. Instead, they move around under the skin and eventually die causing an inflammatory skin reaction known as cutaneous larva migrans, or “creeping eruptions.” It is important to keep your pet free of hookworms with good hygiene, preventive medication and regular veterinary check-ups. Also, keep stray dogs and cats out of sandboxes and gardening areas.
  2. Roundworms– Roundworms are parasitic worms that are round in shape, live in the dog’s intestines and consume partially digested food. Unlike hookworms, they do not attach to the intestinal wall, but literally swim in their food. Adult worms resemble spaghetti and may come out in feces or vomit of an infected dog. Transmission to dogs is through eggs in feces, eating a prey animal that is a host (usually rodents), mother’s milk, or in utero. In dogs, roundworms cause diarrhea, vomiting and in extreme cases pneumonia and intestinal obstruction. In humans, roundworms can cause a serious condition known as vesceral larva migrans. Most victims are children who are infected when putting contaminated fingers into their mouths. Once ingested, the roundworm larvae, though not its usual host, tries to complete its lifecycle. The roundworm gets lost in the human body, usually in the eye, dies and generates an inflammatory reaction that can cause blindness. Proper hand washing can prevent infection. Pet deworming of puppies and preventative medicine will reduce environmental contamination.
  3. Whipworms- The only way a dog can contract whipworms is by ingesting the eggs. When a dog walks on ground infected by eggs, they are picked up on the paws and travel into the mouth when he licks his paws or any contaminated toys or food bowls. Whipworm eggs can survive extreme exterior conditions for months and even years. Within one to three months after the eggs are swallowed they hatch in the dog’s intestine, attach to the wall and begin to suck blood and lay eggs. In dogs, whipworms can cause diarrhea, weight loss and in some cases, anemia. Whipworm infections in humans is extremely rare.

Be safe, not sorry

Children are more prone to contracting zoonotic parasites, as they tend to kiss and play more readily with pets. Parasite larvae are shed in the pet’s feces and may contaminate soil and sand. When children play in the contaminated areas and place fingers in their mouths this allows the eggs to be ingested, causing infection. Hookworm larvae are capable of infecting a host through penetration of the skin. Be sure to pick up feces promptly and avoid eating while playing with your pet. Frequent hand washing, as well as good general hygiene for people and dogs, is recommended. Routine check-ups by your veterinarian – including a diagnostic test for worms and heartworm – as well as a physical exam along with medical prevention, will not only keep your dog healthy but will reduce any risk to you and your family.

Courtesy of Schering-Plough Animal Health

Canine Breeding Management

Ward Animal Hospital offers specialized breeding management services. We are able to
measure progesterone levels with our in-house miniVidas machine, which produces a
numerical result within the hour.

We also offer a specialized procedure called Transcervical Insemination (TCI). With this
procedure, semen is deposited in the uterus (same location as with a surgical AI) through an
endoscope and a catheter. The procedure is done in the standing dog and does not require
anesthesia or surgical intervention, rarely does it require light sedation. We do NOT
perform surgical inseminations unless Transcervical Insemination has been attempted and
been unsuccessful on more than one instance.

We offer tailored packages that include all breeding services per breeding cycle:

  • All office visits and revisits
  • All vaginal cytologies
  • Vaginoscopy if required
  • All progesterone measurements necessary until breeding
  • Artificial insemination (vaginal or transcervical, one or two inseminations)
  • A pregnancy ultrasound
  • A puppy count X-ray

We do recommend an office visit early in the heat (4-5 days after first noticing signs of heat)
in order to catch early ovulating dogs. We do require proof of current rabies vaccinations,
proof of current DAPPL and Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccination is required if the bitch is
intended to be boarded at Ward Animal Hospital for any period of time. We do suggest
bringing a copy of any registration papers if available and we strongly recommend a
Brucellosis test if the dog was previously bred. A brucellosis card test can be run at Ward
Animal Hospital but is not included in the package prices.

We do not guarantee conception or pregnancy. We retain the right to refuse service for any
reason. In particular, we might choose to refrain from breeding due to aggression, deemed
physical limitations or undesirable physical traits that are considered heritable.

A reproductive office visit at Ward Animal Hospital is $52. Suggestions as to what type of
insemination or ovulation timing services might be most suitable depending on the dog, breeding
history, and type of available semen.

To schedule an appointment, for package prices, or any further questions please contact us
at 936.564.4341.


Body Condition Score

What is Body Condition Score (BCS)?

The Henneke horse body condition scoring system is a numerical scale used to evaluate the amount of fat on a horse’s body. It was developed by Henneke et al. (1983) at Texas A&M University with the goal of creating a universal scale to assess horses’ body-weight.

Assess your horse’s body condition regularly so you can adjust his diet accordingly and identify potential problems.

To have your horse assessed give us a call to schedule an appointment. 936.564.4341

Equine Body Condition Score Poster


Ward’s offers full-service boarding for your dog or cat. We have 10 large runs, 12 medium / small cages all in an air-conditioned kennel. Dogs are rotated out in our attached backyard to play and take care of business! We also have a separate room within the building specifically designated for cats.

Vaccinations Required for Boarding
Dogs Cats
Rabies Rabies

Here are some pictures of our boarding facilities.

Dog runs – 8’x4′


Big Kennels
Big Kennels


Dog Medium cages – 2′ x 2′

Dog Large cages – 3′ x 2.5′

Small Kennels
Small Kennels


Cat condos Small dog cages – 2’x2′

Cat Room
Cat Room