If you happen to see Dr. Brittany Denison in the halls of Cascade Hospital for Animals, wish her a hearty welcome -- just don’t blurt out “en garde!”

Our new staff veterinarian is versed in fencing, a sport she learned while attending Michigan State University where she earned her bachelor’s in zoology and doctorate in veterinary science.

Owners of parrots in metro Grand Rapids area should be aware that a retail store specializing in exotic aviary species has experienced an outbreak of psittacosis (Chlamydophila psittaci), an infectious disease in birds that can cause illness or death. The store is under Michigan Department of Agriculture quarantine for the next 2 months, and more than 80 parrots at the store have been undergoing treatment with doxycycline.

Everyone loves a good love story. We have one we would like to share about two very special people.

Ben started working at Cascade Hospital in 2006 as an Animal Care Technician while attending college with hopes of going to veterinary school. Ben transitioned into the role of an Exam Room Technician a few years later. He worked with the veterinarian in the exam room, helped educate clients, and assisted with outpatient appointments.

Pooch in costume

This Fourth of July weekend is shaping up to be a beautiful one in West Michigan, and I’m sure many of you are planning to celebrate with family and friends at parties, picnics, parades, barbecues, and fireworks. These family activities with awe and beauty brings joy to many of us, but for your pets, it can be the most terrifying time of the year. “Pets are sensitive to loud noises, bright flashing lights, and strong smells,” says Dr. Steve McBride of Cascade Hospital for Animals. “All of these elements are present around July 4th, during fireworks shows that take place over a number of nights.”

Before you head out to enjoy the day, take a look at our 4 tips to keep your pets happy and healthy during the July 4th holiday.

We are seeing a large number of ferrets at our hospital, as we have the expertise of Dr. Tracey Ritzman, DABVP. This week’s post will just offer a broad overview of Ferret Ownership.

Ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) are members of the weasel family that have been domesticated for over two thousand years.

It is a beautiful spring morning in West Michigan. You are enjoying your morning coffee watching the birds at the feeder in your backyard, and he shows up. A disheveled looking squirrel disrupting the serenity of the morning. Some may “shoo” him away, however many others call us asking for advice on how to help the little guy out.

Ticks that starved all winter in West Michigan began to swarm throughout woods in early March during our warm spell in search of hosts. One dog owner in Lowell Township discovered this attached tick on his pet after taking a stroll through his wooded yard last month.