A Change Will Do You Good

You may know that June 26th, 2017 was the first day for SportsVet in our new location.  You may know that this particular date was years in the making as Dr. Jacobs had envisioned a veterinary hospital that went above and beyond for both our patients, as well as our clients.  You also likely know that we made some changes during the months leading up to June 26th.  What you may not know, is how these changes will benefit the care of your pet(s), and how these changes impact you as an owner.  So pull up a seat, while I give you the inside scoop on a new chapter of SportsVet.


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I personally, do NOT enjoy moving.  Having moved no fewer than ten times throughout the course of my 20’s and early 30’s, I feel that I can honestly say that I would rather do almost ANYTHING besides relocate to a new home; a sentiment that is shared by nearly everyone I have encountered in my lifetime.  The packing and unpacking, organizing, non-stop hunting for that ONE thing you just can’t go on without (but have NO idea where you placed it), and the physical labor, is just not how I would prefer to spend my weekend.  However, that is exactly what the staff at SportsVet did for an entire weekend prior to opening day.  I know very few places of business where the employees are so dedicated to the realization of a dream that they will give up their entire weekends to move.  This alone, speaks to the strong work ethic and family atmosphere we have here at SportsVet.  I strongly believe that mindset reflects in the care we provide for every single one of our patients.  If you have called, or been in to visit recently, you may have noticed some unfamiliar faces/voices; but you can rest assured that as a family, we have one ultimate goal; to take care of your pet(s) like members of our very own family.

Although our foundation of practicing veterinary medicine hasn’t changed, moving into a larger, more efficient, and higher tech facility has changed the type of care we are able to provide.  If you have stopped in to our new facility, you will notice an increased size and number of exam rooms.  This has allowed us to not only serve our clients in a more relaxed and comfortable manner, but has allowed for separate feline and canine waiting areas and exam rooms to help decrease the anxiety your pet may feel by coming to the vet.  You may notice our staff carrying electronic tablets as we phase out paper files, making each visit and phone call more streamlined and efficient.  Behind the exam rooms we have expanded our pharmacy, added additional space to everything from our “treatment” area to surgery and recovery cages.  The addition of a “special procedures” room allows us to run more than one anesthetized procedure at a time (all of which is done with updated and even more thorough monitoring), as well as providing a home to our ultrasound and dentistry procedures.  When you walk in the lobby, we welcome you to take a peek into our rehabilitation room which now houses a more efficient underwater treadmill, land treadmill, and additional rehabilitation tools to aid in your pets recovery from whatever may ail them.


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If at this point the tour has become exhausting, we ask that you take a step over to our refreshment area to help yourself to some coffee or water before we show you the rest of our facility.


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Dr. Jacobs envisioned an all encompassing place for your pet to be able to receive the treatment he/she deserves.  The addition of grooming, daycare, and an improved boarding experience have helped this vision come to fruition.  Our groomer, Holly, has over 20 years experience in the grooming industry and loves to make your pet look their absolute best.  By providing a fully functional grooming area, this allows us to not only care for a pet’s overall appearance, but also dedicates a space to provide medicated baths to those pets whose skin needs a little extra TLC or for any pets who may need a quick cleaning after a stay with us.


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Past the lobby, you will enter the daycare/boarding space.  10 luxury runs with space to stretch out and flat screen TVs for your pet’s viewing pleasure, we have been able to provide an additional service beyond our standard boarding (which still provides ample space, and the same attention to detail we provide to all our furry friends).  Central to this area is our indoor daycare space which is a true pup paradise, complete with ample room to run, tons of toys for climbing, playing, and dividers to be used as needed for pets of various sizes.  On the backside of our building is a fully fenced in space with K9grass, perfect for allowing your dog to run free and play while enjoying the great outdoors.  Our daycare is monitored by staff who pay the upmost attention to your pets social and physical needs, and whose attention to detail can alert medical staff immediately should any need arise.


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If our feline friends are feeling left out, do not despair.  Our kitty condos are located on the entirely opposite end of the building, allowing for complete relaxation on multiple levels away from the noise and celebration of doggy boarding and daycare.


If this is all hard to envision, I completely understand.  I must have looked at the blue prints, and walked through the building during the construction process over a dozen times; but nothing could prepare me for the first day we were able to work in such an amazing place.  If you are anxiously awaiting a peek of what we have to offer, feel free to bring in your pet for a visit, take a tour of doggy daycare and boarding, or better yet; stay tuned for our Open House planned for late Summer/early Fall, where we will give all of you an exclusive look at the “where” and the “how” SportsVet is able to care for your pet while going above and beyond the standards. Until then, continue to follow our Facebook page for all things “SportsVet”.

– Dr. Dillon (& the SportsVet Team)

Toxin Ingestion 911

In theory, I could make this post the shortest one yet by simply telling you to call your veterinarian, but what then?  To be honest, some toxin ingestion cases are better handled by the professionals.  What does that mean you ask? Well in cases of “typical” toxin ingestion, chocolate for instance, your veterinarian will likely be able to not only tell you whether to be concerned (dependent on the amount and type of chocolate ingestion) but also how to manage your pet.  So how about those “non-typical” ingestion cases? These are cases where your pet may have ingested one of your prescription medications, a household cleaner, or maybe even an insecticide.  Likely, when you call us with a more complex case, our recommendation will be to call the poison control center for pets.

The ASPCA poison control center is where the true toxin professionals lie.  The reason we recommend calling the ASPCA is simple.  The staff receiving those phone calls have training specialized in toxins and poisons, as well as access to information that has been compiled over years and years of research from specialists in pharmacology and toxicology.  Chances are if your pet has ingested even the most obscure of edible (or even presumed inedible) items the staff at poison control will be able to advise you how to proceed.  If further veterinary care is recommended by the staff at the ASPCA, they will be able to advise your veterinarian how to continue treatment whether that treatment lasts a single night or requires blood work to be repeated months down the road.

When calling your veterinarian or the poison control center, please have the following information accessible:

  1. The name of the substance ingested
  2. The strength of the product if known (medication, chemical)
  3. How much of the product was ingested
  4. How long ago the toxin was ingested
  5. The age, breed, and weight of your pet

Above all, do not try to make your pet vomit or give an “antidote” without first contacting your veterinarian or the ASPCA. Certain substances can cause more harm if you make your dog or cat vomit.

General guidelines:

Drugs and Chemicals – Rodent poisons, insecticides, antifreeze, recreational drugs, and human pharmaceuticals are potentially the most harmful poisons, as they are often in a very concentrated form. Your pet may only need to have consumed a small amount for it to have a significant effect.

Cats – Cats tend to be more susceptible to poisons than dogs.  A cat’s metabolism is less able to process many toxins that are often thought “less dangerous” for dogs (for example aspirin). Be aware the cats can also ingest toxins spilled on their coat while they groom themselves.

Be Honest – We know how pets act after ingesting certain recreational drugs. We can run a slew of tests that will do nothing other than waste your time and money, or you can just tell us the truth. It’s OK, we wont judge.  We simply want to help your pet and the sooner we can do that, the better.

Be Prepared – The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center experts recommend having the following on hand in case of toxins:

  • Fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide with a syringe (or even a turkey baster) to administer
  • Saline eye solution
  • Artificial tear ointment
  • Dawn dish soap or a similar grease cutting soap
  • Pet Carrier

The simplest way to deal with a toxin ingestion is to simply prevent them from occurring.  Clean up messes immediately, place all medications in securely closed cabinets out of reach of pets, and use insecticides, etc., in areas not accessible by your pets.  Remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

We hope you never need to contact the ASPCA Poison Control Center, but if needed, their number is (888) 426-4435.  Be advised that you will be asked to pay a $65 fee to speak with a toxicology expert which is a small price to pay to rest assured that you will be receiving advice from the best in the business!

Why does my pet’s breath smell

Did you know that one of the most common diseases that affects both cats and dogs is dental disease?  Despite this risk, many pet owners are unaware or underestimate the chances that their pets could be suffering from oral health problems. Contrary to popular belief, bad breath isn’t normal for pets. Instead, if your pet’s breath is liable to clear a room, it could very well be a sign that your pet needs a dental cleaning. A clean and healthy mouth relates to more than good breath; it is a key factor in pets living longer, healthier lives.

So what causes the smell?

You can attribute your pet’s day-long “morning breath” to gum disease.  The major contributing factor in gum disease is bacteria.  Once your pet eats, bacteria commonly found in the mouth bond with food particles forming plaque.  Without brushing, the plaque sits on the teeth and eventually hardens into tartar.  Tartar pushes against the gums causing “pockets” where additional bacteria can hide and cause infections at both the gum line and even deeper to the root of a tooth.  The infection, is what creates the foul odor you smell every time Fido comes close.

Is this really a big deal?

Absolutely! When these infections are left untreated for long periods of time they can result in tooth loss.  To be honest, loose teeth is just the tip of the ice burg.  These infections can spread to the bone creating your pet’s jaws and lead to fractures.  When the infections become even more severe the bacteria may enter the bloodstream becoming systemic and spreading to the kidneys, liver, and even the heart.

What can I do to reduce the risk of dental disease?

Start by bringing your pet in for regular check-ups. You may not notice the symptoms of dental disease in its early stages, but your veterinarians can spot it and recommend treatments as needed.  If your pet has bad breath, inspect his/her mouth. Look for things like reddened, swollen gums; yellowish-brown tartar build up and broken or chipped teeth. These signs indicate a need to bring your pet in for an oral exam.

When you bring your pet in to SportsVet, we can also show you how to brush your pet’s teeth at home. Home brushing can dramatically reduce the amount of plaque on your pet’s teeth and help reduce the risk of gum disease, tooth loss, and other health issues. Schedule an appointment today.



Traveling with your pet


For many families, summer means family vacations which means traveling. Whether it’s to the beach, Disneyworld, or even just to a local campground or lake, the chance to break away from the daily grind can be irresistible. For those of us with pets planning for even a long weekend away also involves deciding how to care for our pets, or – if traveling with a pet – how to accommodate his or her needs.

For those considering bringing their pets along for the fun, there are some considerations that should factor into your pet’s travel plans.

Continue reading “Traveling with your pet”

Fourth of July Fun.

Did you know that more pets go missing on July 4th than any other day of the year? Unfortunately the safety concerns surrounding the 4th of July, don’t stop with missing pets.  With a few precautions taken before the big day you can ensure your pet stays happy, calm, and safe.

Continue reading “Fourth of July Fun.”

Lawn and Garden Safety


Over the past week I have found myself spending more and more time outdoors as the temperatures rise and the days get longer.  Weekends have been filled with yard work to try and beautify our lawn and (lets be honest here) try to keep alive all the beautiful landscaping that came with the first home we purchased last summer.  I may have been born with ten fingers and ten toes, but I think someone forgot to bless me with the green thumb that seems to have skipped a generation in my family.  However I am doing my best to learn the ins and outs of gardening and landscaping which means I have also been keeping an eye on the products I am using and the plants around my home to insure the safety of my furry children as well as the handful of friendly neighborhood cats.

Continue reading “Lawn and Garden Safety”

Canine Influenza

Do you remember the Great Canine Influenza Outbreak of 2015?  Most of us outside the Chicagoland area were left unaffected but unfortunately Canine Influenza (CIV) seems to be causing quite a stir so far in 2016 with multiple local media outlets covering reports of cases in neighboring McLean county and even at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital.  Unfortunately, this is an illness that is likely to continue to make headlines in the weeks to come.  I hope to be able to place some of you at ease with some cold hard facts about precautionary measures you can take, and what to expect if your pet is suspected of being affected.

Continue reading “Canine Influenza”

Whats the big deal about Heartworms?


When it comes to the well being of our furry family members, their heath and happiness is always our priority. One of the best ways to keep your pet(s) healthy is to practice preventative medicine.  Prevention of heartworm disease is a very important piece of the preventative medicine puzzle. The first step in prevention of any illness is having a better understanding of the disease. Continue reading “Whats the big deal about Heartworms?”

Ditch the Itch

April showers bring May flowers! Unfortunately along with the flowers comes the re-emergence of allergy season.  Nationwide pet insurance, recently sorted its database of more than 550,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 dog medical conditions in 2015. Number one on that list was Skin Allergies.   Continue reading “Ditch the Itch”

The Thunder Rolls


As we jump feet first into Spring, it is easy to get excited about the great things to come.  Grilling outdoors, flowers in bloom, sunshine for days, etc.  Unfortunately while some of us may revel in the winds and showers that April brings, some of our furry counterparts are less than thrilled for the exciting weather developments that accompany the start of Spring.  If you are the owner of a pet with a “storm phobia” you are not alone.

It’s a condition we deal with frequently as veterinarians, and sometimes as pet owners ourselves.  Just like a systemic illness each pet with a storm phobia is different. The manifestations and coping mechanisms for each pet’s phobia will vary.  Some cases may be minor, resulting in some restlessness or panting, while other pets end up costing owners large sums of money in home repair as their dog attempts to tunnel through dry-wall or destroy furniture.  Although we may not be able to eradicate the signs of unease in their entirety, it is important to address these behaviors and lessen their severity (as much for your sanity as your pet’s).

Continue reading “The Thunder Rolls”