Can dogs eat nuts?

I have been asked if nuts are bad for dogs.  So here is some information regarding nuts and peanut butter for dogs.

The only toxic nuts that have been reported are macadamias. Other nuts are high in fat and can cause problems (GI upset, pancreatitis) due to the fat. Other toxic issues associated with nuts include tremors or seizure like activity from moldy nuts (especially moldy walnuts laying in the yard). Peanuts are legumes, not nuts; the primary concern for peanuts is the fact that they can be susceptible to contamination by molds that produce aflatoxin, which dogs are especially sensitive to and can cause neurologic issues.  Unless your pet has intestinal problems, we recommend peanut butter as a great method to help get pills into dogs.  It is also used commonly in treats- especially homemade treats.

Dr. Jeremy Wentz,VMD

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Pets and Cold Weather

Cold Weather

Yes, it is that time of year again when we have to prepare for winter weather.  One of the preparations is for our pets, as the cold can be very dangerous to them.  Here are a few winter weather tips to keep our furry friends safe.

It is best to keep pets indoors during the winter months, but if this is not possible, outdoor pets must be provided with shelter. Their home should be elevated off the ground to prevent moisture accumulation and have a door of some kind to keep out winter winds, sleet, and snow. Shelters should be insulated or heated. Water sources may be heated to permit constant access to unfrozen water; thermal units designed specifically for this purpose are readily available. Outdoor pets require extra calories to keep warm. Feed your pet according to its needs when the temperature drops. In severely cold or inclement weather, no pet should be kept outside. Indoor pets should have sleeping quarters in a draft-free, warm area with their bed or mattress elevated slightly off the floor.

Roaming cats:
Roaming cats, as well as house pets and wildlife, may climb onto vehicle engines for warmth during cold weather. Be sure to check under the hood before starting your vehicle and honk the horn to startle any animals seeking shelter inside.

Frostbite and snow removal salt:
Snow and salt should be removed from your pets paws immediately. Frostbitten skin is red or gray and may slough. Apply warm, moist towels to thaw out frostbitten areas slowly until the skin appears flushed. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for further care. Snow removal products should be stored out of the reach of pets and small children as their toxicity varies considerably.

posted in:  Pet Safety  |  The Great Outdoors

Halloween Candy and Pets (Trick or Treat)

Halloween Candy and Pets

As we all get ready for Halloween and buy lots of chocolate and candy to pass out to the trick or treater’s, please remember that chocolate and candy can be dangerous to our pets.  As we are probably all aware that dogs cannot have chocolate, but there is some chocolate that are worse than others.  Baker’s chocolate is the most dangerous.  It has the highest concentrations of caffeine and theobromines.  It only takes a small amount of Baker’s chocolate to be dangerous.  One ounce of baker’s chocolate in a 20 pound dog can cause seizures and needs immediate treatment.  In a 10 pound dog 3 ounces of milk chocolate can cause a rapid heart rate and potentially seizures which would require medical attention.  Lesser amounts of chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhea. 

The other product that can be very dangerous is xylitol.  Xylitol is a product in sugar free gum and is becoming more popular in baked goods.  A small amount of ingested xylitol can be very dangerous.  It will cause the blood sugar levels to drop which can cause seizures.  It can also cause liver failure.  This is a very dangerous product to dogs so please make sure they do not receive xylitol.

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Reducing Breast Cancer (Mammary Cancer) in Pets

We are all aware that October is breast cancer awareness month and we see pink everywhere in support of breast cancer research.  Breast cancer is a horrible disease that affects many people.  Dogs and cats are also prone to breast (mammary) cancer.  The good news is that we are able to significantly reduce the amount of breast cancer that develops in pets.  Multiple studies have shown that the rate of breast cancer significantly decreases with spaying your dog or cat before the first heat cycle.  The first heat cycle usually occurs between 7-10 months of age.  We recommend spaying dogs and cats at 6 months of age.  Studies have shown that spaying at this young age reduces the rate of breast cancer by as much as 91%.  There are also other medical benefits to spaying at 6 months of age.  The benefits include reducing unwanted pregnancy (helping to reduce the pet population) and reducing the risk of a uterus infection (pyometra) which can be life threatening. Please keep your pets as healthy as possible and spay them at 6 months of age!

McFly Memorial Fund: 5K Fun Run/Walk


Sunday November 3rd at Dansbury Park!

We will be hosting a 5k on the Dansbury Park Levee Loop in East Stroudsburg.
Registration @ 8am and Runners to start @ 9am
Walkers to Start @ 9:30.
The registration fee will be $25
All proceeds will go to the McFly fund.
All ages welcome.

About the McFly Memorial Fund

McFly was an 8 month old feral kitten who had adopted a family that feeds and shelters strays. While he knew where he lived, he always kept a safe distance from the family who cared for him.

In June of 2012 McFly had a traumatic event occur, and he crawled to the humans that he had watched from afar, knowing they would help. His family immediately recognized the severity of his injuries and McFly allowed them to render first aid, then be picked up, placed in a carrier and driven to someplace very foreign to him. His injuries required him to be treated and hospitalized at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital for a few days short of a month. He had a broken pelvis, torn urethra, severe skin wounds, and problems with the kidneys. He was a wonderful cat that needed intensive critical care and multiple surgeries to treat his condition. Despite all the surgeries and treatments he went through, he was a very loving cat in the hospital, enjoying all the attention the staff was giving him. He would eat almost immediately no matter how he was feeling. Unfortunately McFly unexpectedly succumbed to his injuries, but McFly’s mom and dad and Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital have set up a memorial fund in McFly’s name.

The McFly Fund is designed to help stray animals and animals in need of assistance. Please help those animals that are less fortunate.

If you are having trouble opening the link go to our Menu, then Resources, then Recommended Links, you will find the McFly Memorial Fund. There you can register for the race. All proceeds will go to the Fund.


People’s Choice Awards-cast your vote

Dear Clients:
We were informed that we are in the top 5 vet hospitals for readers choice awards with the Pocono Record. 
Please take the time to vote for us, and pass on the information to others. We know that you are busy but if you could take a few moments out of your schedule to cast your vote we would greatly appreciate it. Don’t forget to visit us on our new website at
Have a great day!
Thank You
The Staff at
Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital




Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital offers a full complement of in-house laboratory equipment, allowing us to perform a large number of diagnostic tests on-site to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of your pet. In addition, we maintain a relationship with a national diagnostic laboratory for the times when off-site diagnostics are needed.

Commonly performed in-house wellness tests include:

  • Fecal analysis
    • For the detection of intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms and whipworms
    • For the detection of the Giardia and coccidia
  • Heartworm tests for dogs and cats
  • Tests for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
  • Tests for common tick-borne illnesses in the dog
    • Lyme disease
    • Anaplasmosis
    • Ehrlichia

 Other in-house tests available for your pet:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
    • Provides red and white blood cell counts
    • Aids in the detection of anemias and infection
  • Chemistry profile
    • For the evaluation of kidney and liver values, blood glucose, protein levels and electrolytes
  • Tests for Canine Pancreatitis
  • Tests for Canine Parvovirus
  • Thyroid hormone assays
  • Canine Pregnancy Testing
  • Ear cytology
    • For the detection of microorganisms and parasites in cases of ear infections
  • Skin cytology
    • For the determination of types and numbers of microorganism such as bacteria and yeast in a number of skin conditions
  • Skin scraping
    • For the detection of microscopic parasites such as mites in a number of skin conditions
  • Mass cytology

 In the case that your pet needs a test not offered by our laboratory, we are able to obtain blood and/or tissue samples on-site to be sent out to a national laboratory. Results are often available within a few business days. These tests include:

  • Bile acids assay for liver function
  •  Tests for endocrine, or hormonal, disorders
    • ACTH stimulation testing
    • Low dose and High dose Dexamethasone Suppression Testing
    • Fructosamine evaluations
  • Vaccine titer evaluations
  • PCR testing for certain viral or bacterial infections
  • Urine and tissue cultures




Dental picture 3

 Did you know dental disease is the most common disease seen by veterinarians: 70–85% of pets over the age of 2 have some form of dental disease?

How does dental disease occur?

1)      Dental disease is more common in older pets.

2)      Small dogs are more likely to have overcrowded or misaligned teeth that are difficult to keep clean, making them more prone to dental disease.

3)      Feeding sticky foods (canned/wet diet) can lead to more rapid build up of tartar.

 Ways you can tell your dog/cat has periodontal disease:

1)      Bad Breath

2)      Red or swollen gums

3)      Yellow/brown crust near gum line (tartar)

4)      Loose or missing teeth

5)      Discomfort when mouth/gums are touched

6)      Decreased appetite or weight loss due to difficulty eating

7)      Reluctant to chew on toys

 Risks of leaving periodontal disease untreated:

1)      Tartar can push gums away from the teeth. This allows the teeth to loosen in their sockets, in turn introducing infection. This can cause teeth to loosen and fall out, or require extraction.

2)      When oral infection sets in this results in gingivitis (inflammation of gums), tonsillitis (inflammation of tonsils) and pharyngitis (sore throat).  Although antibiotics can be helpful in decreasing the bacteria, it is not a long-term solution. The tartar will require removal.

3)      Infection in the mouth has potential to be picked up by the blood stream affecting major organs such as the kidney’s, liver, lungs, nervous system and heart.


Barton Heights is officially a certified Cat Friendly Practice!

Barton Heights is officially a certified Cat Friendly Practice!

We can’t be more excited about achieving official status by the AAFP, American Association of Feline Practitioners, as a cat friendly practice. In doing so, Barton Heights is the only veterinary hospital within a 40 mile radius uniquely qualified to provide exemplary care for your cat.

What is a cat friendly practice?

If you don’t know what it means to be a certified cat friendly practice, let us tell you. Certification as a cat friendly practice means that we have made changes to our hospital to better accommodate feline patients. It means that our veterinarians and staff have been trained in gentle handling techniques for cats. It means that we are able to provide the highest level of medical and preventative care for our feline patients while offering you, the cat owner, education and information on the unique health and environmental needs of cats.

Why is it important?

Despite the fact that cats are now the most popular pet in the United States, statistically they receive less regular veterinary care than their canine counterparts. Many cat owners cite the difficulty and stress associated with bringing their cat to the veterinarian as the main reason for avoiding veterinary visits.

Our receptionists and staff are available to help you overcome some of the difficulties with getting your cat to the veterinarian. We have many tips and techniques to offer in making the transportation to the hospital as free from stress for you and your cat as possible. Take advantage of our private “Feline Only” waiting area. This is a portion of our lobby set aside exclusively for our feline patients to provide a quiet and safe place away from the noise and sight of dogs.  Our goal is to provide as smooth and stress free of a veterinary visit as possible for your cat.

Another reason cats do not often receive regular veterinary care is the perception that they do not need it. Cats instinctually hide illness and often appear healthy despite underlying illness or pain. We are committed to providing both preventative and medical and surgical care for all of our feline patients. Regular annual and semi-annual examinations are crucial to detecting early signs of illness in your cat. Let us help you provide the care your cat deserves.

Find more information on the Cat Friendly Practice certification process and what it means for you and your cat.

For more information on what it means to be a certified Cat Friendly practice as well as tips on cat care, visit the AAFP website at and click on the Cat Friendly Practice tab. Or, give us a call. We are happy to talk with you about the high level of care we can provide for your special feline.

posted in:  The Cat's Meow

Laser Surgery and Therapy

Laser Surgery and Therapy

When you hear someone mention a laser, you think about science fiction and some mad scientist experimenting with light. Lasers have become very beneficial in their role in veterinary medicine, and not all lasers are the same. Lasers are a light beam that will perform different tasks depending on the frequency of the light. The two types of lasers we use are for cutting in surgery and healing for therapy. Both of these lasers are used routinely on our surgeries to help reduce pain and promote a quicker recovery.

Laser Surgery

Laser surgery is recognized in human and veterinary medicine for its benefits to both patient and surgeon. The type of surgical laser we use at Barton Heights is a carbon dioxide laser. The main benefits offered are reduced pain, reduced bleeding, reduced swelling, reduced infection, and a quicker recovery.

Reduced Pain

The CO2 laser beam seals nerve endings as it cuts through tissue. This reduces the amount of pain the patient feels during and after surgery.

Reduced Bleeding

The CO2 laser beam cauterizes and seals small blood vessels as it cuts. This laser energy achieves hemostasis and provides the surgeon with a bloodless surgical field in most procedures.Reduced Swelling
There is no physical contact between the laser and the surgical region, eliminating the tearing and bruising of tissue associated with traditional surgical methods. Lymphatic vessels are also sealed.

Reduced Infection

Laser energy acts as an antibacterial agent by producing high temperatures, effectively eliminating microorganisms.Quicker Recovery
As a result, all of the above laser surgery provides the benefit your clients will appreciate the most: a quicker recovery for their pet.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy involves using a Class IV B cold laser beam that emits positive energy to aid the body in the healing process. This treatment has no side effects and is affordable. Laser therapy helps in 4 ways:

1. Manages pain
2. Reduces inflammation
3. Increases mobility
4. Helps speed recovery
Due to the benefits of the laser, we are recommending the laser to be used immediately after surgery, for arthritis, sprains and strains, ear infections, bladder problems, and joint pain. Our physical rehabilitation department has been using the laser for arthritis and physical rehabilitation and has been having great success. Pain medications have been lowered or even eliminated in some cases reducing the side effect potential of the pain medicine. If you have further questions about the laser and how it can help your pet, please call us at 570-424-6773.

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