We will be closed Monday, September 4th in observance of Labor Day. See you on Tuesday! 🐾
Harmony Hill Animal Hospital is proud to serve Sterling, VA and surrounding areas.
We will be closed Monday, September 4th in observance of Labor Day. See you on Tuesday! 🐾
We will be closed Thursday, August 24th, and then open Friday for regular hours. Thank you!
The Loudoun County Health Department is encouraging anyone who may have come into contact with a rabid cat and/or its kittens outside of a local shopping and restaurant area to contact their health care provider or the Health Department as soon as possible. Details: https://bit.ly/3OTxbVN
We've got a heat advisory🌡 in the area for the next day or two, please use caution for yourselves and your furry friends. 🥵
Make sure they always have access to fresh clean water, keep walks at a minimum and during cooler hours of the day, and never leave them alone in a parked car. Our smooshy faced and more at risk friends (including older pets and pets with known heart or lung issues) should take extra caution and only go out for short bathroom breaks. 🐾
☀️ More info on heatstroke in pets: https://www.aaha.org/your-pet/pet-owner-education/ask-aaha/how-can-i-prevent-heatstroke-in-my-pet/
🐶 Indoor boredom busters: https://www.oodlelife.com/35-games-to-play-with-dogs-inside/ | https://www.rescuedogs101.com/11-fun-easy-indoor-dog-games/
Buyer, beware. Pet insurance is great, but more and more companies are getting sneaky and doing some shady things, if they can get away with it. Please, read the fine print.
Washington, Mississippi join California and Maine
We will have modified hours next week due to the holiday and Dr. Werden's well deserved vacay time 🎉. Please put in those medication requests THIS WEEK if you're running low on stock 💊. Our phones will be on from 10am-12pm, and 2-4pm on Monday and Thursday. Normal hours on Friday with one of our stellar relief veterinarians.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July, fireworks can be scary and this time of year we see a lot of cats escaping out when they get scared, keep them inside!
If your pet needs urgent care while we are closed please check out Loudoun Urgent Vet in Leesburg, EMMAvet in Alexandria, Urgent Cat Care in Reston, or your local emergency clinic.
Losing our friends, our babies really, is always hard but there are some losses that are harder than the others. They are harder to accept and that precious soul is harder to lose. They are often ones we have fought the longest and most difficult battles. They are often the ones we have put the most of our own souls into. They are always ones that have that certain, unique magic unicorn sparkle that marks them as exceptional.
We try to remember all the others we have been able to bring back to health. We try to focus on all the good we do. We try to hold onto the knowledge that sometimes the kindest and most generous gift we can give is to relieve the pain. We try to never forget that no life is permanent and with death, they have merely been released to walk on to their next beautiful adventure.
But still. It hurts.
Please grant us space and grace as we process the loss of one such gorgeous soul that we could not have fought harder for.
I owe an endless debt of gratitude to our entire support team both at Harmony Hill Animal Hospital and The Cats at Longstreet for the long hours and support, colloboration, and emotional support junk food. Maybe even more so, we owe so much to the families that keep us going and hold down the fort while we wage these wars. We can't do it without you.
Kitten season is the worst. Please. Spay and neuter your pets. Support your local rescues and shelters. Consider fostering. And check on your friends in animal care.
Check out Dr. Werden's new blog post on our website! It's that time of year again when we see our own and our pets allergies flare up. 🤧 Read up on how we treat allergies when your itchy dog is keeping you up at night, and how we manage them in the long run. 🐶If you have concerns about your pets allergies please reach out to schedule an appointment today! 📅
We will be closed May 29th in observance of Memorial Day.
Did You Know: Let’s talk about pet foods!
Today we’re going to touch upon a subject with a whole lotta opinions and tons of controversy, a lot of which is based on marketing, internet rumors, and that’s guaranteed to make at least 6 people somewhere lose their minds, no matter what you say. I’m going to give you my big picture take on pet foods in general, based on over 4 decades of human experience and over 2 decades of experience in animal science, food safety and science, and veterinary medicine. And, at least 3 decades of personal pet ownership.
Let’s take this one by one.
1) There is no one food that is right for every creature. If anyone, anywhere tells you that Food Brand X or Style Y is the ONLY RIGHT WAY FOR ALL CATS/DOGS/HUMANS ETC, please smile and nod and move on. It’s just not true.
2) Grain Free Diets are pure and simple bunko for dogs and cats. Grains are not harmful. They aren’t. This is an example of a human diet fad that has bled over into pet food mythology. The percentage of cats and dogs with true allergies to grains is incredibly small. Like all things, though, dose makes the poison. I do not believe that a dog or cat should be eating large quantities of grains but hey, fiber makes the world go round (and your guts contract so you can p**p happy), and you aren’t going to get fiber from eating T-bones.
3) Another fad that’s bled over from human dietology is the idea that cats and dogs should subsist on ultra high protein diets. This is also not based in fact. While these kinds of diets can be great for some cats and dogs, for many (maybe even most), those kind of ultra intensive, very rich diets breed all kinds of digestive issues, particularly diarrhea. If you have a cat or dog who has chronically soft stool or diarrhea at the drop of a hat, or needs a daily probiotic or fiber supplement, or worse yet, anti-diarrheal medications, and you’re feeding them one of the ultra high protein diets, you should consider trying a less intensive diet. This is particularly true with kittens/puppies and geriatric cats and dogs, as well as many ultra short coated breeds of dogs (think Boxers, Pit Bull Terriers, Dobies) and what we shall call Asian-influenced cats, including Siamese, Burman, and Abyssians, among others. I often tell owners that they can usually look at a pet food store layout and based on layout alone, identify the ultra intensive foods in the aisles at one side of the store, the economy foods on the far other side, and the midgrade foods in the middle. Often, owners just need to move “down” one or two aisles to a less intensive midgrade food and the diarrhea and/or chronic soft stool will improve as the protein content drops. At the same time, the fiber content will increase.
4) The glorious bacteria in your gut (and the gut of your cat or dog) make up the majority of your immune system and influence everything from stool quality to Alzheimers to inflammatory and autoimmune disease to depression and anxiety to metabolic disease like diabetes. The gut flora should be diverse. Feeding a diet that’s only protein (or only carbs) favors a less diverse profile and as a result, impairs wellness and contributes to disease. Variety is the spice of life. Within reason. I like feeding my cats and dogs fresh food tidbits to help nurture a more diverse biome, but I make sure that at least half of their daily calories come from a diet that’s been proven to meet all of their nutritional needs so I don’t accidentally make them sick. And I avoid things that are toxic or particularly high in fat.
5) Cats and dogs not only can (and do) get foodborne illness, but they are also important sources for human infections for things like Campylobacter. I don’t feed any of my own animals raw meats without them having been freeze dried or gently cooked, ever. That also goes for my rescue kitties. Raw diets are dangerous.
6) If your cat or dog is having soft stool or diarrhea often enough that you find yourself having to add a fiber supplement or give them a daily probiotic or an anti-diarrheal medication, you should talk to your vet about trying a different diet.
7) I don’t feed a pure home cooked diet without having it professionally balanced by a licensed veterinarian. If you don’t provide all of the required nutrients, your cat or dog will suffer. We’re seeing a resurgence of fatal heart disease caused by unbalanced diets, and that’s entirely preventable. I am all for home cooked diets and have saved more than one life with them, but they must be properly balanced to avoid long term sickness and even death.
8) The first rule is feed the baby. That means, if they aren’t eating it, we need to do something differently. The second rule is p**p happy. That’s pretty self explanatory.
Of course, there’s always more to it and more that could be discussed, but there are really only a couple of rules. Feed the baby, p**p happy, there isn’t one single perfect diet that we could use to feed every cat or dog, and there are always exceptions to any other rules.
A mother lost her son.
Our hearts break.
This has got to stop.
While the details are still coming out, what is very clear is that a young man went to work on Sunday to serve animals in his hospital, and his mother (who also worked at the clinic) held him as he died, after being shot by a client. We are unbelievably saddened by this horrific news, and are saving space for the team at Shively Animal Clinic & Hospital PSC. The unfortunate truth is that our own team, like almost all veterinary professionals, have been threatened with violence and abused too often by clients who have lost control. We work in an industry where emotions are high, stakes are high, and communication and respect are of the utmost importance. We are told all we care about is money, that we don’t care if people’s pets die, we don’t care if they suffer, and so many more horrible things on a regular basis when clients can not afford recommended treatment or do not understand why we can not do more for them. We try to explain that our costs are set by our expenses, that we are a business who is accountable to our owners and team to be sustainable and profitable, and that no one who works in vet med got into this business to get rich. We want people to understand our why, that we are here to help, that we love your pets, we are here to serve your pets, but we will always put the safety of our team above all else. We can not and will not tolerate any form of abusive behavior toward our team, and hope to be part of industry wide changes that shut down abusive behavior long before these horrific tragedies happen.
Our phones and system are currently down, it’s a known outage with Comcast. Our apologies for any inconvenience, hopefully we’ll be back up soon!
11:37am update, we are back up and running! 🥳
We will be closed this Friday, May 5th.
It's time to celebrate our wonderful veterinary CSRs this week! 🎉 We've been so busy with things this week I haven't had a chance to post and celebrate! 🙈 (Check out The Cats at Longstreet for part of why!)
They are the welcoming faces and caring voices that you and your pets interact with every day. 🐱 Their dedication, compassion, and professionalism makes a huge difference in the lives of our patients and their families. Thank you for all that they do to ensure that our hospital runs smoothly and that our clients feel valued and appreciated. You truly are the heart and soul of our practice! 🧡
Sierra and Jessie are an invaluable resource to our hospital, not to mention just amazing people all around, so please if you can take a minute to thank them for their amazing work. 🥳
April 22 is National RX Take Back Day from 10am to 2pm! Use the link below to find a local collection site and help prevent medication misuse by removing unneeded medications from your home.
Close to us are the Loudoun County Sheriff's Offices - Ashburn Station, Eastern Station, Dulles South Station and the NVCC Loudoun Campus.
A important message from one of our staff members we'd like to share:
Hi, this is my PSA, as a licensed veterinary technician and someone who works a veterinary practice for pet insurance.
After one of my cats got very very sick, and I had to keep making the call about whether we could continue treatment for her or if the cost was just too much, I knew I didn't want to be in that position again if at all possible. We got all of the animals insured after that. We have very few patients insured at the clinic that I can think of.
Dorian's multiple procedures and surgery, after our deductible was met were billed at over $4,000. This is with discounts that were given or adjustments. At the end, we had to pay about $400 of that. I cannot tell you the relief I felt after his pre-authorization for his surgery went through that was estimated cost anywhere from $4,000-6,000. It meant that I could just focus on him, I was able to get him in with a surgical center instead of waiting to get him in somewhere cheaper. When the doctor wanted him to stay overnight for monitoring, I wasn't worried about the extra cost.
So look into pet insurance. Is it perfect, of course not, and there can be issues like pre-existing conditions to worry about too but the pros outweigh the cons in my opinion. Shop around, find something that works for you with coverage, deductibles and monthly payments, and don't wait. If you just adopted a new pet, get it now before issues arise and have that peace of mind for the future.
Ashburn friends, please keep a watch out for Warren!
WARREN IS STILL MISSING
Please continue to watch for Warren in the Golden Meadow/Sweetgrass way area of Ashburn Farms, especially along the walking paths.
He likely hunkered down for the first couple of days in a safe place, but should start coming out looking for food.
He is a large grey and white long haired guy.
We have traps out. If you see a cat (or other animal) in one of traps, please call the phone number below.
Just a friendly reminder....
Vets Are People Too 💖
The team at Harmony Hill was able to help this very, very special boy in the last couple of weeks.
With a dental treatment, we've been able to completely change his life and we hope, increase his chances of adoption
We are running with a shorter staff than normal due to the joys of COVID-Tide. We are not allowing owners into the clinic for their own protection the rest of the week. Better safe than sick!!
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and be well.
We will have modified hours Monday 12/19. We will be open for medication/food pickup, nurse appointments and our phones will be on from 9-11am, and 2-5pm. Thank you for your understanding. We will have normal hours Tuesday 12/20. 😷
Happy Thanksgiving from the Harmony Hill team! 🦃 We're thankful for all of our wonderful clients and their pets, our families and friends who support us, and of course our own furry companions. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and don't give the dog too much turkey! 🍂
Don't ruin your holiday with a trip to the emergency vet! Keep a close eye on your critters and keep them away from dangerous foods and items. See Pet Poison Helpline's more in depth article here. 🥓
What can you give your pet? Lean turkey meat (no skin or bones), potatoes and sweet potatoes (before the butter and salt get thrown in!), green bean, plain peas, and pumpkin are all OK! 🥔🦃
📢 Attention please! We are now carrying Simparica Trio. This is an awesome 3-in-1 heartworm, flea/tick and intestinal parasite prevention. 🦟
It's a tasty liver flavored chew that you give once a month to help keep your dog protected year round. We have this available on our online pharmacy or during your wellness visit! 🐕
We will be opening late November 8th to allow our staff time to vote. We'll be open and phones on at 9:30am, thank you!
✨ Solensia ✨ is a new development in osteoarthritis (OA) pain management in cats. Cats often get the short straw when it comes to new therapies and treatments for pain management (and many other things). That's why we're so excited about this! Solensia is a once monthly monoclonal antibody therapy injection 💉 that specifically targets pain signals from the joint.
Take a look at the check list below and take a look at your senior and early senior kitties and see if they show any of these signs. Make a note and let us know at your cat's next semi-annual exam and we can discuss options!
A few of us here have tried and seen improvement with our senior felines already! 🐈
Recognize the signs of osteoarthritis (OA) pain in cats with this simple checklist. An easy-to-use checklist can help expedite the diagnosis and treatment of OA pain. Go to the Cat OA Pain Checklist quiz: https://bit.ly/OAChecklist
Vet Tech Week is filled with treats, goodies, and gifts for our wonderful team. Which are awesome, don’t’ get me wrong, but what does our team really want from Vet Tech Week?
There is an ongoing debate between the human nurse world, and the veterinary technician world over the word nurse. The debate has been going on for years, but the end goal had remained the same. We want the recognition for what we do. “Technician” may bring to mind someone working on equipment or working on lab machines, but it doesn’t really cover the scope of our interactions and bonds we form with our patients. We are nurses, by definition, whether the title comes along or not. Acknowledgement for the skills we have and continue to hone, recognition for what we bring to a practice, and understanding from clients of our knowledge and experience.
We had to develop a mutual respect policy this year; it’s unfortunate that it’s even something that has to exist, because it should just part of being a kind human. We are often the targets of frustration, sadness, and hurt. While we understand that those feelings might be behind your words, and we have compassion for your situation, those words and attitudes hurt us as well. So please be kind, and realize that we have all been there in those tough situations and understand what you’re going through. Understand that we have families, and children, and pets of our own to go home to at the end of the day. Understand that we are human too.
The last, and probably the most sensitive issue, is cost. Veterinary care is expensive, and no one is here to tell you otherwise. However, what many people don’t understand is where those costs go. Overhead is extremely high for this industry, that means rent, electricity, equipment, medications, anesthetics, surgical supplies, hospital supplies, payroll costs. Licensed technicians make significantly less money than our human counterparts, even with similar school for some credentials. Our prices are set to help provide a living wage, or get as close as we can, for our staff. While low wage is a reason that we have veterinary staff leaving the profession, it’s not the most common. Our love for our work keeps us in this profession, as well as the bonds we form with our patients, and the cool stuff we get to do. We make sacrifices to stay in this profession, but if we can help lessen those personal sacrifices, wouldn’t that be great? So consider pet insurance, payment options like CareCredit, and emergency savings. There is a balance of maintaining affordable care for our clients, while supporting our staff so they can stay here and do amazing work.
Just some food for thought, on this Friday ending National Vet Tech Week, as we finish cleaning up an emergency surgery and head home hours after we close.
Thank you to all of those who have wished us well, who have shared stories about our awesome employees, or who have brought us treats this week. National Vet Tech Week is one week out of the whole year, but you can thank your veterinary team any time you want! It truly makes our day to hear kind words, compliments on our blood draw or cat wrangling skills, or that your dog or cat really loves coming to the vet. Thank you. ❤️
Never a dull Friday night at the clinic.
This is probably one of the most important posts of Vet Tech Week! While Vet Tech Week is about recognition and celebration of our LVTs we cannot miss recognizing the amazing team that supports both our LVTs and DVMS.
I would like to add Jessie to our CSR list, who is always available to help us out with appointments, taking care of patients, and whatever other tasks may arise. She's always a ray of sunshine even on those days were we may be a bit gloomy. ☀️
We have Ali our hardworking animal care attendant who with help from our assistants keeps this place functioning, stocked with supplies, and a helping hand whenever it's needed. I would be lost without her help! 💪
In addition to Kristina in our assistant list, we have Courtney and CJ who are both incredibly hardworking, and such joys to work with (this is VERY important). They are incredibly knowledgeable, and continue to build excellent nursing skills. CJ has a great knowledge of dog behavior and is one of our go to people for those nervous dogs who need an extra special encouraging hand (she gives great pep talks). 🐶 Courtney is one of our kitten gurus and helps support our FIP patients with dedication and great care. If you have a special needs cat she's got all the tips and tricks for you. 😻
Of course I would be remiss to leave out our part-time and our rescue volunteer helpers, you help keep things running!
We're honored to have such an amazing team here at Harmony Hill, and I am grateful to work with them every day.
Did you know that some cats need walks, too??
At least, they need more things to do then we often give them. We recommend setting aside time to play with them with interactive toys every day, rotating out the toys they have available so they stay fresh and 'new', and trying new and different toys regularly.
There are lots of cats who will do well with leash training, too! It's important to ONLY walk cats with a harness and to make sure you're protecting them against fleas and ticks if they're going outside.
Other ideas to help make their life more interesting and improve their emotional and social health include installing bird feeders they can watch, cat wheels, food puzzles, toys like Snuffle Mats, and even cat-friendly YouTube Stations that have videos of animals for them to watch. Clicker training can also be a great way to interact with your cats and encourage behaviors that you want, plus then you have cool party tricks!
For more tips on how to entertain your cat, check out The Indoor Cat Initiative at https://indoorpet.osu.edu/cats
Welcome! Download PDF Quick Start Summary Our goal is to help you and your cats have the best life together you possibly can. How can we help you today? Start with our Basic Indoor Cat Needs section to begin to enrich the lives of your cats. Here we provide a detailed checklist and some suggestions....
Veterinary technicians seem to be a somewhat mysterious and misunderstood member of the veterinary team. There is some debate over the terminology of technician, some like it, some prefer other terms, some don’t care as long as it’s understood what they do. The answer to that, is pretty much everything.
They are a key component of the veterinary hospital. Some daily duties of our veterinary technicians include but are not limited to nursing care of hospitalized patients, taking vital signs 🩺, administering vaccines, drawing blood 🩸, performing laboratory tests, taking radiographs (dental radiographs included) 🦴, performing dental prophylaxis, monitoring anesthesia, placing IV catheters, intubation, assisting with surgery, applying bandages 🩹, performing diagnostics 🧪, placing feeding tubes, performing CPR, caring for critical patients, administering medications, taming spicy kitties 😾, client education, trimming nails, record keeping, and of course giving lots of care and attention to your pets. And cleaning. So. Much. Cleaning. 🧹 Whew. They are supported through this all by our ace team of assistants and kennel technicians. 🙌
Licensed technicians go through an accredited schooling program spanning 2-4 years, and then must sit for a national exam. They are required to do continuing education ever year, and since we are AAHA accredited, the hours required are even higher.
Some think that being a vet tech is a stepping stone to becoming a veterinarian, and it can be certainly, but for many it’s a calling and their aspiration. There are technician specialties that take years to obtain and work for, like anesthesia or clinical pathology. It’s a tough job that requires dedication, resilience, and the will and desire to keep learning.
They deserve the best, and we’re working hard to make that happen. 💖
Learn more about who our technicians and assistants are later this week with some Q&As.
It's heeeeere! That one extra special week in October that we take time out of our crazy hectic work week and celebrate our licensed veterinary technicians and our amazing supporting staff of, pardon my French, kick-ass student technicians, assistants, customer service representatives and animal care attendants.
I'll be sharing some info posts from previous years on what vet techs are and what they do.
This job is tough. We often hear, "I don't know how you can do that everyday," but we do and will continue to do so. So please take a minute of your day and thank a veterinary professional for all the hard work they put in caring for your pets as if they were our own.
In the meantime, I will do my best to thank our team for their hard work with lots of treats and goodies (and probably too much sugar and caffeine). ❤️
Did you know that we welcome feral kitties at Harmony Hill Animal Hospital?
This is unacceptable.
We do better.
🐈 Are we doing enough for cats? 🐈 A 2013 UK-based study found that only 33% of cats received post-operative analgesia following neutering, compared to 75% of dogs.*
However, cats have been shown to consistently exhibit behavioural changes indicative of pain for three days or more after neutering.**
Our ‘Cats Deserve Pain Relief Too’ campaign highlights some of the reasons why many cats are not receiving adequate pain relief and aims to encourage clinics to review their policies on prescribing analgesics to cats.
Find out more 👉 https://icatcare.org/our-campaigns/cats-deserve-pain-relief-too/
*Hunt JR, Knowles TG, Lascelles BD and Murrell JC. Prescription of perioperative analgesics by UK small animal veterinary surgeons in 2013. Vet Rec 2015; 176:493.
**Vaisanen MAM, Tuomikoski SK, Vainio OM. Behavioural alterations and severity of pain in cats recovering at home following elective ovariohysterectomy or castration. J AM Vet Med Assoc 2007; 231: 236-242.
📢 Signal boost for Hooper, he's been missing since late August, around the Reston VA area. Please keep an eye out!
Lost / Missing /Found Pets In Loudoun County VA and Bring Ace Home - A Lesson In Faith are both great resources for missing or found pets in our area.
We're having a bit of a rough start to this week, so here's a seriously happy thought.
Good nursing care and excellent medicine go a long, long way. Sometimes, it's not fancy technology or medications that leads to success. It's patience and attention to detail and love.
This is Hemingway, also known as Mr Poopy Bu****le. He's owned by Operation Press Paws. He was found as a feral a while ago, happens to be FIV (+), and had this ugly, ugly wound on his right front leg that wouldn't heal. Amputation was being considered.
We doubled down and after hanging out with us for a couple of weeks, we ALMOST have it healed. Check out his amazing progress!
Operation Press Paws is one seriously bad-a$$ rescue who, like The Cats At Longstreet, takes on cats that no one else wants. Please consider donating to OPP to help with the care of cats as awesome as Hemi.
To help with Hemi's bills, Operation Press Paws can accept donations through the following methods:
🟡 Facebook Donate button
🟡 Paypal: http://paypal.me/operationpresspaws
🟡 Venmo: , ###-###-5491
🟡 Cash or check (message us for mailing info)
Operation Press Paws is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Hemi will be up for adoption as soon as we get his wound healed.
23520 Overland Drive Suite 110
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Harmony Hill Animal Hospital is new practice that opened June of 2019. We are proud to offer wellness care, pediatric and geriatric specialty care, dentistry, surgery, hospice care and end of life counseling, behavior counseling, pain management, and both domestic and international health certificates. We also offer house calls for assorted services and drop off appointments.
Our focus is on the relationship between pet parents and their furry ones while providing safe, friendly, and considerate care for cats and dogs of all sizes.
Built by a team of individuals brought together with the same dream, we hope you find this animal hospital is a bit different. Top-notch medicine, cutting edge science, and endless love and passion for what we do and who we help.
The practice might be new, but our team has decades of experience helping improve the lives of cats and dogs and their families.
That’s what makes us work.