Category: News

Keep Wildlife “Wild”

Spring Babies

Written by Dr. Hall

      With the coming of Spring in East Tennessee nature is awakening, flowers are blooming and birds are singing. This is also a time when wildlife is reproducing, and babies are on the way. Occasionally these newborns are found by people who want to help them. This is usually not a good idea. Parent rarely abandon babies and are usually taking care of them. If possible a baby bird could be placed back in the nest, but should not be taken in as they are very difficult to raise.

    Baby bunnies are only fed once a day by the mother. They do not sit on a nest to keep the babies warm. They return at night to take care of them. It is not a good idea to rescue them as they are not easy to care for. It is better to leave them where they are found to let nature takes its course.

    If it’s unavoidable then a licensed wildlife rehabilitator should be contacted. They have a much better likelihood of survival in the hands of an experienced person.

    In addition, it is illegal to keep any animal native to the State. Another consideration is the possibility of exposing yourself and family to diseases which wildlife can carry. If bitten by a wild animal and it cannot be found, one must have shots to prevent rabies.

It is only human to want to help when we find an orphan creature but intervening can actually increase the risk that it may not survive.

New Regulation on Controlled Substances

Controlled Substance

Due to a new state government regulation, we can not dispense ANY controlled substance without checking the database for permission. For REFILL prescriptions, please phone ahead and give us at least 48 hours. For NEW prescriptions, clients will unfortunately have to wait or return to get the medication. These new regulations are to prevent “doctor shopping” and Veterinarians are included.

FAQS about Cats and Heartworms

Frequently Asked Questions about Cats and Heartworms

By Pellissippi Veterinary Hospital’s Official Cat Advocate Dr. Jennifer


Cute Kitten

Can my cat get heartworms?

Cats are susceptible to heartworms but they appear to be less susceptible than dogs.  In Tennessee the incidence of heartworms has been reported to be 15-20% for dogs but only 5-10% for cats.  Mosquitos are responsible for disease transmission and are a major problem in our region.

Are indoor cats protected from heartworms?

It is much more likely for cats that go outside to get heartworms, but indoor cats can get heartworms too.  One bite by an infected mosquito is all it takes for transmission.  Anytime the door or window opens, an infected mosquito could come inside putting your cat at risk.

What are the symptoms of heartworm disease in cats?

Many cats do not show symptoms of heartworm disease.  However, there are some signs that may indicate your cat has heartworm disease.  Many infected cats present with respiratory signs such as coughing, asthma-like attacks, wheezing, and even respiratory distress.

Is there a test for heartworm disease in cats?

There are blood tests available to check for heartworms in cats.  If you are concerned your cat may be infected, please contact us for an appointment with one of our doctors.

 Is there a treatment for cats with heartworm disease?

There is no cure for heartworm disease in cats.  The only treatment is targeted at controlling respiratory signs.  This disease may not be curable, but it is 100% preventable.

How can I protect my cat from heartworms?

Keeping your cat indoors will help lessen the risk of heartworm infection, but the only truly effective protection is using heartworm preventatives year-round.  At PVH we have multiple heartworm preventatives available to help keep your kitty happy and healthy.

“Fix By Six” at Pellissippi Veterinary Hospital

Fix By SixOverpopulation of stray cats and dogs is becoming an ever increasing problem not only in East Tennessee, but all over the United States. Local shelters and low-cost spay and neuter programs do their best to alter (spay/neuter) as many animals as they can but the massive number of homeless animals make this a daunting task. The staff here at Pellissippi Veterinary Hospital would like to help in this fight against overpopulation. We would like to introduce a new program that we will be instituting called “Fix By Six”! This program is designed to encourage the spaying and neutering of animals before 6 months of age which is around the time puberty sets in.

Top 5 Reasons to “Fix by Six”

1.  Female cats and dogs that are not spayed have a much higher risk of uterine infections and mammary cancer.  These are potentially fatal diseases.  You can drastically decrease the likelihood of these life-threatening diseases by spaying BEFORE the first heat cycle.

2.  Male pets are much less likely to develop testicular cancer if neutered early.

3.  Spaying and neutering early can help control behavioral issues like urine marking, escaping (to roam for a mate), and some types of aggression.

4.  Spaying helps prevent unwelcome male guests from coming to your home.  Female pets urine mark when in heat drawing any available male to your home.  Cats also excessively cry and meow calling a mate.  This can go on for days!  

5.  Helps combat pet overpopulation by keeping your pet from “accidentally” becoming pregnant or getting another animal pregnant.

To set up an appointment or for more information please call (865)-691-8387.






Lark’s Story

LarkIn mid January, the SOS Beagle Rescue was forwarded a request for help on an injured beagle puppy.  Of course we stepped up to help but once we met Lark we realized she was neither a puppy nor injured.

She was taken directly to Pellissippi  Veterinary Hospital for X-ray and evaluation by our SOS vet with 25 years of orthopedic surgery experience, Dr Pat Hackett. You may remember? Dr. Hackett and his capable staff put Humpty Dumpty Hal back together again after a hit by car accident in 2011.   Pellissippi Veterinary Hospital has also helped hundreds of beagles like Cookie, Gertie, Ambrosia, Chance, Gidget, Midge and more.  Visit for more information on this 20 year old Beagle rescue.

Sadly Lark was born with two bad knees, allowing her kneecaps to ride on the outside of the joint and her leg bones to rub together painfully.  This created a splayed, hunched, duck like walk.  Even the intense pain could not diminish her zest for and love of life.

Just like Hal, we hope to see Lark placed into her loving forever home soon. 

Lark, aka Larkspur, is our newest special needs case, and the first 2013 recipient of a Dorothy Schuda Fund grant.

 Lark’s Story:

 Lark was a hungry, dirty, flea-ridden beagle who was found by the side of the road in Tennessee by a kind couple. She had a bad limp, and they thought she had been hit by a car, but she had no sign of recent injuries. They took the young beagle home and cleaned her up. The husband fell in love with her and wanted to keep her, but they had no income and knew she needed veterinary help. They posted on Craig’s List looking for a Good Samaritan. They agreed to meet any rescuer at the vet’s. At that point, SOS Beagle Rescue, Tennesse, stepped up to the plate! Lark was evaluated by our vet to see just what, if anything, could be done to help correct what turned out to be a serious double knee issue she has probably had since birth. Unlike the normal case of luxating patella, her knee caps are outside the knee, forcing both knees to fold in. She had low muscle tone and very poor mobility. As Dr. Hackett said, we sure brought him a challenging case!

Video: Lark Before Surgery

 Note that Lark is straightening her right rear leg! That bodes well for a surgical fix. Paws crossed she gets a good X-ray report tomorrow and begins her road to recovery.

 Lark’s Progress:

 Update Feb 11, 2013:

 Lark had her second surgery today on her right rear leg. A deep groove was cut into the smooth area and the kneecap was anchored in place. Pretty amazing to see. Can’t wait to see how Lark recovers over time. This tiny 9 lb girl deserves a long and pain free life! Thank you Pellissippi Veterinary Hospital, SOS, Jan and Dr Hackett for taking on this challenge… A special thank you to Tiffany and Jeremy for allowing this cutie to convalesce and blossom in your home.


Lark in Surgery

Update Jan 20, 2013:

 Lark, our tiny double knee surgery girl, update from her awesome fosters Tiffany Bartlett and Jeremy. Lark and her snuggle buddy copper. Her foster mom says,

 “Lark is still pretty timid, but hit a milestone this morning. She gave me kisses when I got her this morning and she braved going out the door to pee outside and run right back in. She loves the company of the other dogs, chews and plays with all toys! She still barks when Jeremy walks into the room, but as soon as he pets her she relaxes and melts in his arms. Doesn’t really seem to like men yet? She met the baby and thought he was the greatest.”

 Video: Lark Playing

 Update Jan 17, 2013:

 Lark is safely tucked away in her roomy puppy playpen, to think Tiffany was worried it might be too small?

Lark in playpen Lark needs to stay low activity to allow her knee to heal. A great big THANK YOU goes out to our great vets at Pellissippi Veterinary Hospital for seeing an option for this wee one and going for it.

 Update Jan 14, 2013:

 Lark update: All the veterinarians at Pellissippi Veterinary Hospital are amazed. She prefers walking using the surgery leg just 3 days post op. That just tells us how painful her congenital condition has become in her short life. Though not real steady and not a pretty gait, you can see how much more stable the leg with the fixed knee is versus the other. Once this one heals satisfactorily we will work on her other knee. Keep good thoughts. She should be heading to TN foster soon. Thanks all.

 Video: Lark Walking After Surgery

 Update Jan 12, 2013:

Lark's SurgeryLark had surgery on her left knee this afternoon. The femur had some scarring but there was absolutely no groove for the knee cap to follow/hold. Dr. Hackett created a groove and did the necessary attachments. We aren’t expecting a perfect gait but hope to stop the rubbing, pain and further injury.

Ambrosia’s foster dogs, Tiffany and Jeremy, have stepped up to help Lark in the first phase of her re-hab. Their home is ideally set up to accommodate her. Michelle Bauer, Button’s foster also stopped by to see the wee one and expressed an interest to help during subsequent rehab.