Category Archives: JC Blog

National Kidney Month

Hi Friends!

Some of you may have noticed I have been missing in action these past couple months.  Well the truth is I was a pretty sick cat.  On top of my diabetes, my kidneys decided to try and quit on me.  My AHDC buddies took very good care of me even though I was a pretty ungrateful patient.  Can you believe they wouldn’t let me wander the hospital and with an IV pole like people do on TV?!  Well I’m finally back to work and while my kidneys are not functioning at 100%, I’m back to my normal self and my vets say my values are stable.

So in celebration of National Kidney Month and my feeling better, here are a couple facts everyone should know about kidney disease:

  • Kidneys have many jobs. The filter the blood, tell the body to make red blood cells, help control the blood pressure, and help to keep water, electrolytes, and acid/base regulated in the blood stream.
  • As the kidneys stop working, the filter becomes less effective. Water leaks out and electrolytes and acid/base levels are out of control.  The kidneys also lose their ability to communicate with the rest of the body so you can get anemia and high blood pressure.
  • The good news is you only need 1/3 of your kidneys, the rest is extra (that’s why you can donate a kidney)
  • Now for the bad news… ~50% of cats over 15 years of age will develop some degree of kidney disease. Meaning they will have less than 1/3 of their kidneys functioning 🙁
  • Outward signs of kidney disease include: increased drinking and urination, decreased appetite, and weight loss.  Sometime you also see signs associated with high blood pressure such as weakness or sudden blindness
  • Luckily my vet friends can often see early signs of kidney disease on urine testing and bloodwork before these symptoms occur. This is why my friends recommend bloodwork monitoring even in healthy pets.
  • While kidney disease is irreversible and progressive, there are some things we can do to slow it down. If caught early, something as simple as a special diet can help us cats feel better.  After I was diagnosed, my vets started me on a new prescription food.  It’s delicious and good for me!
  • If we are very sick, sometimes my vet friends can help the kidneys in the short term by hospitalizing us to give us fluids directly in the vein to flush out the built up toxins.
  • Some other treatments that may be needed long term include fluids under the skin to help flush out our toxins and supplements to control our electrolytes and support the poor sick kidneys. I hate getting my fluids but I know it’s for my own good.  Please don’t tell the technicians I understand because then I might get less pity.  Shhh…

National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day


Today is National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day. I know what you’re thinking…”That can’t actually be a real thing.” Well it is and it’s an important day for us cats. While some of us may protest, here are a couple reasons why you should bring your feline friend to see me at AHDC:

  • We age much faster than you.

1 of your years is about 5-7 of ours. This is why it is so important that we see the doctor at least once a year.

  • We are excellent at hiding our symptoms.

We cats do not want to appear weak, we are far too noble for that. So unfortunately we also do not like anyone to know when we don’t feel well. This is why we need to see the vet regularly even if we appear healthy. The sooner our diseases are caught with examinations and bloodwork, the more easily they can be treated or controlled.

  • We need vaccines too.

Like dogs, it is PA state law that we are vaccinated for rabies. Even if we stay indoors. Just because we don’t go out, doesn’t mean things don’t come in. My vet friends also recommend the feline combo vaccine (FVRCP) to save us from a variety of upper respiratory viruses.

  • Cats are awesome.

Isn’t this one obvious? We are just so good looking and I think my people at AHDC deserve to be graced with our presence as much as possible. We just brighten up the hospital. 🙂

For ways to help you get your cat friend into his or her carrier, watch me and Dr. Balmer star in the below video!

How to Get Your Cat into a Carrier

International Cat Day/Spoil Your Dog Day



Today is International Cat Day. Do you know what that means?! A whole day just to appreciate how wonderful us cats are! Best day ever!!! I could deal with a little less “appreciation” from my AHDC family though. And even though I think cats should be appreciated the other 364 days a year also, I’ll share this “lovely” attention with my canine friends. Get ready pups, Spoil Your Dog Day is 48 hours away (August 10th). Steer clear of the people food, though, moms and dads or you will be making a visit to my vet parents for puppy indigestion.

IMG_3019 Dr. Balmer giving me lots of kisses!

Car Travel With Your Pets

By JC Summer is here in full force and I hear that a lot of my 2- and 4-legged friends are out and about this time of year. Whether it be vacations, errands, or trips to see my vets, at some point we all need to be transported somewhere. One of these days I hope someone takes me to the beach with them. I think I’d look great in some swim trunks! Here are some tips to help your pets ride in style (and safely). • Most important: Never leave your pet in the car on a warm day. Never, ever. • Cats should be kept in their carriers, no matter how much we complain about it. We can be very distracting and get into some dangerous situations if we are allowed to walk around. We just can’t help ourselves. • Please keep our carriers somewhere cool and secure. Trunks and the back of pickup trucks are not safe places for us to ride. • My dog friends also should not ride in the bed of a pickup truck. Sometimes they decide it’s time to get out whether the truck is moving or not and can seriously injure themselves. • If possible, secure your pup with a seat belt using a special harness, in a crate, or with a leash. • If your dog is allowed to move around the car, be sure to keep the windows closed or only open enough so that their nose can fit and no more. We animals have serious self-control problems and are not above squeezing out an open window if given the chance. Despite following these tips, some pets are not cut out for the travel lifestyle. If your pet is one of these and becomes nervous or sick in the car, make sure to speak to my vet friends about what you can do to help make the essential trips more enjoyable.
Happy Summer!

Asthma and Allergies in Pets


As if we need another reason to be aware of me, May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Many of my social media friends may not realize this but I suffer from environmental allergies. This is why my coat is sometimes less than perfect. While other sufferers may be embarrassed by this fact, I want to use my position as an AHDC blogger to spread awareness of allergies in my dog and cat friends. Our allergy symptoms are often different than those you experience. Below I listed some common symptoms you may see in your allergic pets:

  • Red staining to feet and fur (saliva stains red)
  • Licking or chewing feet
  • General itchiness
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Sneezing with clear nasal discharge
  • Clear eye discharge

I’m also going to share the spotlight today with my friend, Duck, who has been diagnosed with asthma. Duck gets treated regularly with an inhaler to help keep his symptoms at bay.

Asthma is a much more serious illness and needs to be addressed quickly. Here are signs to watch for if you are concerned about asthma:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing or gagging
  • Trouble breathing
  • Blue lips or gums
  • Open mouth breathing

If you notice any of these symptoms in your 4-legged kids, please call my friends at AHDC.

Bow Wow Boot Camp!


My favorite canine rehab specialist and AHDC held a really fun Bow Wow Boot Camp this Sunday. I helped set up and tried some things but then got myself out of there before I was forced to do too much exercise. I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to working out but my veterinary friends have yet to confirm this diagnosis. However, Dr. Balmer and Kelly Straub told me that all the dogs had a great time and did awesome work. Everyone was exhausted by the end and learned a lot of new tricks and exercises. Great job boot camp stars!: Elroy D’alfonso, Thunder Loughry, Indy Beard, Crosby Romah, and Bradley Zanes (Balmer).

To learn more about Bow Wow Boot Camp, visit our Facebook event page!

JC: National Poison Prevention Week

This week is National Poison Prevention Week. It’s a hard life being a cat (or a dog). So many of the things you humans enjoy can be potentially toxic and dangerous to us. Lilies, chocolate, alcoholic beverages, coffee, and daffodils! How is such a cute boy supposed to celebrate Easter and spring without these!?

Thankfully I’m protected by my humans who keep me away from such temptations which could cause me serious harm. Knowing the potential dangers is the best way to protect your pet. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies so we rely on you to keep us away from these things. Many common products and plants in everyday life can be extremely toxic to us animals, to help I found these links to help you keep your own pets safe:


Introduction to JC


I’d like to introduce myself. My name is JC. I live at and run the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County. I have many pets here, or humans as they call themselves, and have trained them all to treat and love all animals that come through our doors. I think it’s time that our friends see some things from my point of view. So, with some help from my pets, I hope to keep you updated with things happening in and around my AHDC home. But first, a couple facts about myself:

  • I’m diabetic but that doesn’t stop me from loving life and living every day to its fullest

  • I can tell time with only my stomach. I know exactly when I should be fed and will start reminding you up to 2 hours before so you have plenty of time to prepare

  • Balmer says I have mad swag, whatever that is, but all I know is I hate when these people pick me up and kiss me. How embarrassing!

  • I regularly complete my rounds of the kennel area and make sure all our patients are happy and comfortable

  • While I have many beds and chairs to lounge on, my favorite place is the keyboard.

Stay tuned for more of my blogs and fun facts…