Research Study Begins: Prevalence of Tick-borne Disease and Heartworm Disease in Dogs in San Pedro

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Early this month we spent a couple of afternoons out in the Escalante neighborhood collecting samples for a study in conjunction with Dr. Lappin from Colorado State University.

Twenty blood samples were collected from island dogs without a history of consistent flea and tick control.  In return for allowing us to draw blood on their pets, each animal was treated with a topical flea control product free of charge (Advantix) supplied by Dr. Lappin’s laboratory in Colorado.


The kids were out of school and immediately began assisting us by setting up a table in front of their house and bringing us pets from the neighborhood!


Some of our patients were a little reluctant, but after a while they realized we were ok.

9. Tiger 2 (2)

Samples were taken back to San Pedro Animal Hospital where they were immediately processed.


Results were as follows:

Of the twenty dogs sampled eleven of them were positive for antibodies to Ehrlichia, the tick-borne bacteria that causes “tick fever”.  This means that these eleven dogs had been exposed and may still be carrying the disease.

Of the twenty dogs sampled 7 were positive for heartworm disease.

Results were reported to the pet-owners and recommendations were made for treatment.

Dr. Laurie transported the samples back to the U.S. where they will be further analyzed at Colorado State.

These results will be used to design a more elaborate study planned for this fall, which will focus on new methods of tick control and their effect on the transmission of tick-borne disease.

More results to follow!  Until then make sure to keep your pets free of fleas and ticks as much as possible, and give them their heartworm prevention monthly.  In addition we recommend obtaining a heartworm test for your dog every year.

If you have any questions feel free to stop by San Pedro Animal Hospital or give us a call at 610-DOGS (3647)

Meet Annie Rose

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On the night of Oct 6th Dr. Laurie was checking on a patient at 2am and found a little black puppy running around outside the clinic.  Dr. Laurie asked the security guard about her and he said he did not believe that she had a home because she had been hanging around the property for several nights.  Dr. Laurie took her into the hospital where she was fed and had a safe place to stay for the rest of the night.  Later it was determined that the puppy belonged to a nearby neighbor who has a habit of adopting dogs and then abandoning them.  Because of all the wonderful people who have contributed to the San Pedro Animal Foundation we were able to help her.


She was immediately given a medicated flea and tick bath by Siomy and Abdy (our wonderful veterinary assistants!) and she was a much happier and prettier looking little girl after that.


She was dewormed and given her first vaccines.  Her blood was tested and she was found healthy enough to be spayed just a week after we found her.  She recovered smoothly and was treated with a long course of doxycycline due to the number of ticks she was infested with when she first appeared. Now that we have had her for a month she has transformed into a bundle of energy and love.  She has learned to walk on a leash, she’s potty-trained, and she wants to play with the other dogs that come into the hospital.  (And she is always looking for a treat!)  She is looking for a new home and would make anyone an amazing companion!!  She even smiles to let you know how happy she is when she sees you.


She would love to go to a wonderful new home and has the personality to get along with other dogs and a family.   Feel free to stop by and meet this adorable little lady!!

Crikey! It’s a big ripper!

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Wow!  Look what we found outside the hospital!

Introducing Dr. Lauren!

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Howdy ya’ll!

I’ve met many of you in the animal hospital so far, but for those who I haven’t yet, I’m Dr. Lauren Atkinson.  I’m originally from Marble Falls, Texas and am the loudest, proudest fightin’ Texas Aggie from the best vet school in the U.S., Texas A&M!  I am very excited to be here in San Pedro volunteering at the San Pedro Animal Hospital.

When I’m not at the hospital I enjoy running on the beach with my labradoodle Toby and reading.  I look forward to getting to know everyone and their pets during my time here so feel free to come on by the hospital and say hi!