DeLand Dog Parade!

Up, up, and away for DeLand for annual Mardi Gras Dog Parade on Saturday, March 2. This year’s theme is “Superhero Pups.”

The Countryside Crew invites everyone to walk with us in the parade or cheer us on from the sidelines.

BAM, ZAP, POW on over to Countryside to pick up your free t-shirt. On parade day dress up your pooch and meet us at the set up area near Stetson on North Woodland Blvd.

Line up begins at 10:00 am and the parade will begin at 11:00 am. We will provide our line up number as soon as it is announced.

Visit the Dog Parade DeLand website for more information.

Iverhart Max Win What You Buy Contest

2019 Iverhart Max Contest

Win What You Buy

Buy 6 months -> win 6 months!

Buy 12 months -> win 12 months!

Random drawings will be held monthly.
Current heartworm test required.

Welcome Dr. Whipple!

Welcome Lindsay Stone Whipple, DVM!

Upcoming University of Florida veterinary graduate, Lindsay Whipple has signed an agreement to start her veterinary career with Countryside Animal Clinic of DeLand.

Dr. Whipple is a native of West Volusia and completed an undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Central Florida.

In addition to her studies in veterinary medicine and surgery at UF, Dr. Whipple has worked as an ICU and emergency veterinary technician at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Whipple’s formal graduation with the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine takes place in May 2019. We congratulate Lindsay on her arduous academic achievements and welcome her back to DeLand for her professional career in pet health care.

Welcome Lindsay! We are excited that you have chosen Countryside.

Canine Influenza Outbreak

There have been several confirmed cases of H3N2 strain of canine influenza at the recent dog show at the Volusia County Fairgrounds. We have not diagnosed any cases at our hospital. This virus affects dogs only. Like most flu viruses, canine influenza is a highly contagious airborne pathogen. Symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, fever, nasal and ocular discharge can be similar to other upper respiratory diseases, but the clinical signs can be much more severe, progressing into pneumonia and potentially death. There is no treatment for canine influenza and most critical cases would be referred to the University of Florida for supportive care.

In an effort to protect the dogs in our community, the veterinarians at Countryside Animal Clinic recommend the influenza vaccine for high risk dogs. A vaccination protocol with properly scheduled booster vaccines is the only way to decrease the incidence and severity of canine influenza. Social dogs that visit dog parks, grooming facilities, boarding kennels, and compete in shows are at risk. Older dogs, dogs with other illnesses, and short-nosed dogs are most at risk.

Please call to schedule an appointment to vaccinate your dog for canine influenza. Every patient will receive a full physical exam and consultation with a veterinarian. Do not hesitate to call Countryside’s veterinary care team with any questions or concerns regarding the health and well-being of your pets.

No Maybes When It Comes To Rabies

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. The virus is secreted in saliva and is usually transmitted to people and animals by a bite from an infected animal. Once the outward signs of the disease appear, rabies is nearly always fatal.

Wild animals in Florida continue to test positive for Rabies, posing a risk to you and your pets. An alarming statistic shows that cats have become the most common domestic animal infected with rabies, with more than 3 times the number of reported cases than dogs.

Every time a pets gets in a fight with other dogs, neighborhood cats, or wild animals they should be thoroughly examined by a veterinarian and vaccinated again for Rabies. If a person is bitten by an animal, see your doctor immediately and report the incident to the Health Department.

Rabies is 100% preventable. Vaccine protocols have been implemented to assure the safest and most reliable Rabies protection for your dogs, cats, and ferrets. Requirements for vaccinating pets for Rabies is regulated by the State of Florida.

At Countryside, an examination and pet health consultation is included with every vaccination at no additional charge. For additional information about the importance of vaccinating your pet for Rabies, please call to talk to our health care professionals.

Camo: A Service Dog’s Story of Love

Camo was chosen for the GSCA (Giant Schnauzer Club of America) Lady Fergie Award, presented to the individual Giant Schnauzer whose actions and outstanding achievement in public and/ or community service has brought recognition and honor to the breed. Recognized for his heroism and dedication to his owner Kevin.
Written By Sharon Burns

Camouflage or “Camo,” the green-collared puppy in a litter of 13, was given a very lofty name, Apffel Bach’s Covert Operative. He was given such a fancy name because he was destined from the start for greatness. He was expected to excel in the sport of Schutzhund and do AKC lure coursing, barn hunts, tracking, and obedience as well. But none of these activities was meant to be.

Camo started training like many of my previous giant schnauzers. He was initiated to scent training and tracking at eight weeks along with basic puppy obedience, manners, and housetraining. He learned to swim in deep water at seven and a half weeks and to come when called for treats, praise and play immediately. He had strongly cemented his off lead recall by twelve weeks.

Camo started formal obedience with Ivan Balibanov and joined the “Sunday Group” training at trainer Ed Reyes’ home, where he got lots of great opportunities for socialization with people and other dogs. I anticipated bringing him to Phil Hoelcher and Albert Hupfauer to further hone his schutzhund (IPO) skills.

However, when Camo was nine months old, my husband Kevin and I found a local search and rescue group, Central Florida Search and Rescue. We observed some training and then tested Camo to see what he would excel in. He tested equally well in Trailing, Air Scent, and Human Remains Detection (HRD). For his first trail, he watched the man drop his hat and run off into the woods. We waited a while for the man to go deeper into the woods and conceal himself. We started Camo on his first trail (he did have foundation tracking). Camo ran up to the hat and started following the trail. Then stopped. He turned back, picked up the hat, followed the trail accurately and returned the hat to the poor man “foolish” enough to lose his hat and get lost in the woods! What a comedian!


Camo loves people and when tested on Air scent, he happily found the only person in the Air Scent area. He also immediately picked up on indicating on scent. His reward? He will do anything for the opportunity to play tug! We decided to start training HRD and to add trailing as a second search skill a little later as we were new to the search and rescue group and also didn’t want to confuse the dog by starting two new skills at once.

We continued to train Camo in obedience at home and at Ed Reyes’, and we trained HRD on our own as well as meeting with other group members several times a week. Camo excelled at everything.

Unfortunately, while Kevin and I were training for our personal NASAR SARTECH II certification, I stepped in a hole and severely reinjured a knee which had been operated on twice previously. I ignored the pain and did manage to get NASAR certified, but because I had to have knee replacement surgery, Kevin took Camo to his NAPWDA HRD certification exam. First, Camo impressed the test givers with his stylish, fast, off lead obedience. He was had been trained to a much higher level in obedience because he was expected to compete in schutzhund and AKC obedience. Kevin and Camo then proceeded to do every HRD test without a single error. These included buried, elevated, car lineup, rubble pile, shoreline/water, etc. Camo ignored distracting scents. He even completed tests found challenging by experienced search dogs without difficulty.

Camo and Kevin went on to be an active deployable team. They did demonstrations and education sessions for various law enforcement agencies and even traveled to Colorado to the GSCA National Specialty 2016 to provide an education seminar.

In November, our world changed drastically. Kevin was diagnosed with stage 4 Glioblastoma, a highly malignant brain cancer. Given no hope in Florida, we headed north. A cancer team at Dana Farber Cancer Institute was willing to operate on and treat him. There was no cure, but they would help us fight for some quality time. Camo and his younger sister Delta stayed with my niece for over a month without any training. We visited a few times, although it was difficult for Kevin to deal with their exuberance while recovering from surgery.

Finally, after we had stayed in a Boston hotel room for the duration of Kevin’s 33 radiation treatments, we rented a house in New Hampshire. We would be close enough to continue clinical trial treatments and also be reunited with our dogs, who are our family.

I purchased a custom fitted mobility harness for Camo and got a medical authorization designating him as Kevin’s service dog. Camo got a crash course with the mobility harness, which he mastered quickly, Camo already had retrieval training so picking up items for Kevin also became one of his jobs. Kevin could also tell Camo to get me if he needed me. Again, this was an adaptation of a previously introduced skill for survival in search and rescue training.

open-harnessCamo was already so bonded with Kevin that he would do anything for him and quickly adjusted to being a mobility service dog. Kevin used him at the grocery, restaurants, doctors, church, etc. We received compliments on his training and behavior as well as his good looks wherever we traveled. Kevin basked in the attention and enjoyed the dog so much that he used him for walks twice a day for physical therapy and quickly gained back much of the strength he had lost during his craniotomy and radiation.

Camo acted as mobility service dog for Kevin during his treatment days at Dana Farber. These days started at 6 a.m. with the car ride from New Hampshire. At Dana Farber, there were Blood draws for Kevin about 9, followed by an MRI, followed by vitals, followed by a clinical trial nurse appointment, followed by a doctor appointment, followed by a long wait for Kevin’s cancer poison to “cook” and then the hour-long infusion, and finally, the trip back to New Hampshire and home about 8 p.m. Camo was a trooper through it all. He made friends wherever he went and calmed the fears of many patients at Dana Farber in addition to Kevin. He also gave families and friends of cancer patients some much needed respite from worry, at least for a short time. During infusions, Kevin often became very chilled, because both the cancer and the treatment had destroyed his ability to regulate his body temperature. Camo would gently climb up next to Kevin and use his own body to warm Kevin. He knew not to disturb the IV tubing and other medical equipment. Nurses would come and go and just smile as dog and man slept peacefully among IV alarms, and other hospital noises. After Kevin’s treatment, many of the nurses would take a moment to thank Camo for taking such great care of Kevin. I think the dog lightened the spirits of many who worked daily with terminal brain cancer patients.

At home, Camo stood sentry when Kevin slept in bed. It was difficult to get him to even go outside to exercise or to eat. While Kevin was still mobile, Camo followed Kevin throughout the house. He adjusted his speed to Kevin’s gait on any given day, whether Kevin was shuffling along unassisted, using a cane, or a walker, or a wheel chair.

Kevin also exercised his arms and enjoyed the New Hampshire spring by sitting outside and throwing a ball for Camo. Three times with the left, more mobile, arm and then once with the weaker right arm was my rule for Kevin to improve his strength. Camo was patient even when that right arm only tossed the ball a foot away. Kevin had some OCD issues from the tumor and hated dog spit on the ball, so I taught Camo to drop the ball into a cup for Kevin. Camo happily complied, and Kevin continued to toss the ball using the cup. Man and dog were inseparable.

Kevin’s decline came suddenly with the onset of seizures. There were several ambulance calls in that last week, and the dogs behaved wonderfully in their outdoor kennel by the front door as emergency personnel and strangers flooded our home. Not a peep, just worried expressions. Camo began lying beside Kevin in bed and watching him closely. At 5 a.m. on the Sunday before Kevin passed, Camo woke me by frantically nudging me in bed and whining. Kevin was having a seizure, choking and unable to roll. I quickly rolled Kevin onto his side and cleared his airways. If not for Camo, Kevin would have died that day. Without training, Camo became Kevin’s official seizure alert dog. The only way I could do laundry or cook was with Camo keeping watch over Kevin from the foot of his bed. Camo also allowed me to get a few hours of sleep during that horrible last week. On that Friday, we had friends from our Search and Rescue group come to visit. Camo was so excited thinking he was going back to searches with daddy, but Kevin felt too ill even to see visitors, so Camo resumed his watch.

It was Camo’s birthday, and I served him steak for breakfast. He would not eat.

infusionInstead, he returned to Kevin’s bed.

Kevin’s brother came to visit. The visiting nurse had expressed concern about Kevin’s rising blood pressure, and we were also concerned by his unresponsiveness. When we took his blood pressure, it was through the roof. We called the doctor and 911, but by then Kevin was unable to move at all and was complaining of neck pain. Camo was distraught. I had to physically pull him from Kevin to put him into the kennel with Delta, where he cried and carried on. He knew.

Camo barely ate for the two days I stayed at the hospital with Kevin.

He is grieving still and standing sentry, watching the bed and the door Kevin was carried through.

Camo will return to search and rescue soon, and I am certain he will save lives and bring closure to grieving families. I know Kevin will be waiting anxiously for Camo at the bridge because their bond was unbreakable. In those last weeks, I learned that nothing can compare with the bond of a terminally ill man and his service dog. Nothing can compare to the gifts Camo gave to Kevin: mobility, comfort, strength, and love.

Microchipping Reunites Lost Pets

A microchip is a small identification chip that is implanted under the skin of your pet. Your veterinarian can easily place the chip during any routine visit. You then complete the registration with the company with your contact information. The chip includes free registration for the life of your pet, and complies with ISO standards for international travel. Microchip numbers can be traced back to the clinic that implanted them and Countryside also keeps microchip information in our patient database. A microchip cannot serve as a GPS tracker, but if your dog or cat is lost or stolen, the information on the chip is used to contact you.

Microchipping your pet greatly increases the chance of reuniting you with your lost pet in the event of an accidental escape, natural disaster, or any other unexpected event. Our client, Virginia Cooper, shares the story of her lost cat, that she was happily reunited with after 3 1/2 years!

Skipper 2

 Skipper is a stray that showed up at my home nearly 5 years ago when he was a kitten.  I took him to Countryside for an exam, shots, neuter and microchip.  Skipper is a very friendly, lovable and loving cat.  He made himself at home in my yard and my garage where he slept every night.

My heart was broken when he mysteriously disappeared one day.  I put up flyers, called and visited rescues and Countryside, and combed my neighborhood and beyond.  It was so out of character for Skipper to just walk away from his loving, safe home.

It was so hard to let reality set in after a few months.  I still wanted to believe that one day I would see his beautiful face and spirit again. That was 3 1/2 years ago.

Imagine my absolutely delight, joy and surprise a couple of weeks ago, when I was notified by Petlink, the micro chip company, and Halifax Humane Society, that Skipper had been found!!  He had been picked up in Daytona (I live in Orange City) and turned in to Halifax. I couldn’t get to Halifax fast enough.  And there he was!  My Skipper, looking at me with those beautiful eyes. 2 years later!!  From the time Skipper was turned in to Halifax to the moment I was able to hold him again, was only a matter of a couple of hours!

Skipper is home.  He is just as loving and lovable as he always was.

This is a good news story, but only because Skipper was micro chipped.  I am so grateful to Countryside for being part of this good news story and for taking such awesome care of all my furbabies (and me) these last 7 years.  Skipper’s good news story, is Countryside’s good news story, too!

Thank you,
Virginia Cooper

The Rattlesnake Vaccine Protects Your Dog From Rattlesnake Venom

Dogs living in Central Florida are 20 times more likely than people to be bitten by a rattlesnake. Rattlesnake bites can cause a painful, life-threatening reaction that requires immediate medical attention, hospitalization, and administration of anti-venom. Such a severe reaction can cause permanent damage or death even with the best treatment.

Rattlesnake venom can cause extensive damage to the entire body system. Excessive swelling and blood loss at the wound site leads to anemia and shock. The venom causes further damage to the clotting ability of the blood. A blood transfusion may have to be performed.

We now have a vaccine against rattlesnake venom. The rattlesnake vaccine will reduce and delay the effects of rattlesnake bites. However the risk is not eliminated, A DOG BITTEN BY A SNAKE MUST ALWAYS SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION! Anti-venom can cost several hundred dollars, and treatment care can extend to several thousand. Vaccinating your dog can be performed during a routine appointment, is affordable, and can greatly reduce treatment costs.

An office exam and consultation is always included at no additional charge when you call to schedule an appointment to get your dog vaccinated. Contact a Countryside veterinary care professional today to protect your pet from the hazards of living in a tropical paradise.

Lyme Disease Awareness

rmv a tickLyme Disease is one of the fastest-growing tick-borne diseases and the most common vector-borne illness in humans in the United States. It is a bacterial infection that is spread by the deer tick, so even though people and dogs can be affected, it cannot be transmitted between species.

Clinical signs of Lyme Disease include lameness, loss of appetite, fever, stiffness, joint pain/swelling, and lethargy. These symptoms can resemble many other diseases. At Countryside, Lyme Disease and other tick-borne disease testing is performed in combination with every routine Heartworm test.

There is a Lyme Disease epidemic in the Northeast United States. In these high-risk areas, 75% of unvaccinated dogs will test positive for Lyme Disease.

Lyme Disease cases have been reported in all 48 of the contiguous United States. Every year this disease increases in numbers and expands geographically. In Florida, 1 out of 140 dogs tested positive for Lyme Disease in 2015. With almost 1500 reported cases, that’s 3 times the number of cases since 2011.

Your dog should be vaccinated for Lyme Disease if they live in a home next to wildlife areas, have a yard with tall brush, spend time in wooded areas, or travel to high-risk areas. At Countryside, a full physical exam is performed with every vaccine at no additional charge.

Protect your dog from tick diseases by adding tick control to your dog’s preventative care. Countryside offers money saving mail-in rebates, free doses, and free shipping on tick prevention products such as Frontline topical, Seresto collars, Preventic collars, and Bravecto chewable.

Countryside has our “eye” on your pet!

Learn about the anatomy of the eye and common eye ailments.

At Countryside Animal Clinic, a full physical exam is an important part of our annual vaccination protocol. Pets can have many problems and diseases of the eye that can cause redness, inflammation, excessive tearing, or damage to the eye. Many eye problems can be easily diagnosed by your veterinarian with an ocular examination and specialized tests. A yearly evaluation, early detection, and prompt treatment of abnormalities can keep your pet’s eyes healthy.

When performing an ocular exam, a Countryside veterinarian checks the following eye structures:

– The cornea (the outer surface of the eye) for abrasions or abnormal pigmentation.
– The sclera (the white of the eye) and the conjunctiva (the eyelids) for redness or inflammation.
– The lens (located behind the cornea and focuses light) for changes or clouding.=
– The pupil (the black opening of the eye) for normal contraction and dilation.

Lenticular Sclerosis
Lenticular Sclerosis is commonly mistaken as cataracts by many owners. The eye may appear more cloudy or grey as a result of normal aging changes to the lens. Most dogs start to develop lenticular sclerosis around 6-8 years of age. It is not painful, usually does not affect vision, and does not require treatment.

A cataract in an opacity in the lens the eye causing the eye to look cloudy. When a cataract becomes thick and dense, it can lead to blindness. In some cases the lens can break free and float around causing painful inflammation, damage to the eye, or can lead to glaucoma. Cataracts can be genetic, caused by injuries, or certain diseases. Dogs and cats with diabetes have a high incidence of cataracts. Cataracts are also common in schnauzers, spaniels, terriers, and poodles. An eye exam with your veterinarian can diagnose cataracts and a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist can perform surgery to remove them.

Glaucoma is a condition in which the eye does not adequately drain and becomes enlarged. Your veterinarian can test the pressures of the eye to diagnose glaucoma during an exam. If left untreated, it can cause blindness.

Eye Injuries
A common eye injury is a corneal ulcer, a disruption of the surface of the eye, usually caused by a scratch or foreign object. It is diagnosed by applying fluorescent stain to the eye, the glowing stain will adhere to any abnormalities on the cornea. Severe eye injuries, such as an eye popping out of the socket or rupture of the eye, are usually caused by trauma and may require surgical repair or removal of the eye.

Chronic Dry Eye (KCS)
Chronic dry eye (KCS) is a common problem in dogs where one or both of the eye does not produce enough tears. Low tear production causes the surface of the eye to become too dry, resulting in pain, inflammation, and damage to the eye. This condition can easily be diagnosed with a tear test administered by your veterinarian at the time of an exam. Long term treatment consists of eye drops that stimulate the eye to produce tears and a medication to lubricate the eye.

Entropian is the inward rolling of the eyelids. This causes the eyelashes to rub on the eye, resulting in irritation and excessive tearing. Severe cases can cause damage to the surface of the eye. Most cases of entropian are congenital, meaning your pet was born with the abnormality, and it commonly affects chows, bulldogs, and shar-peis. Treatment depends on the severity of the problem, and can include surgical repair.

Cherry Eye
Cherry eye is a condition in which the tear gland of the third eyelid becomes detached and causes a red protrusion from the corner of the eye. The cause is not known, but it can cause infection and damage to the eye. Surgery consists of repositioning or removal the gland. Cherry eye typically affects younger dogs, and is most common in “bug-eyed” breeds such as spaniels, pugs, bulldogs, boston terriers, and shih tzus.

Do not hesitate to call Countryside immediately if you notice any of the following indications of an eye problem:

– redness
– excessively rubbing the eye(s)
– bulging of the eyeball
– swelling
– increased tearing
– dilation of pupil
– squinting
– cloudy appearance