Monday, April 14, 2014

Come Visit Capitol Illini @ The Pet Expo on April 26th!

Saturday, April 26.        10 am to 4pm         The Expo Building, State Fairgrounds

 The Ani-Mall Pet Expo and Mega Adoption Event is right around the corner!
Capitol Illini will be at the fairgrounds again this year with a booth set up for visitors!
Capitol Illini will have free giveaways for you and your pet, along with a fun photo opportunity!
Our staff and Doctors will be available to answer questions and visit with you and your four legged friends!

The event is being hosted by 98-7 WNNS, 970 WMAY, 92.7 WQLZ and Alice @ 97.7 .
There will be a variety of pet related businesses providing animal care givers access to the latest information. Make sure to look for us!

Well behaved animals on a leash are welcome.
Capitol Illini does not decide the admission fee for the event, but we believe it will be between
 $ 2- $5 .

Chemotherapy Now Offered At Capitol Illini

Cancer can be a frightening word to hear, especially if the word is used in reference to a family pet.  Pet owners often have many questions when their pet is diagnosed with cancer- How bad it is? What is the prognosis? Is there anything we can do?
At Capitol Illini Veterinary Services we understand that these are concerns many owners may inevitably face. Because of that, we want to be there to answer those questions.  Dr. Blake Marcum is now providing consultations in oncology and chemotherapy.  Dr. Marcum has partnered with an oncology group that provides consultations with a board certified oncologist’s oversight for each case.  This allows for treatment tailored specifically for your pet along with the convenience of location and the quality of care that you have come to expect from Capitol Illini.
Cats and dogs respond differently to chemotherapy than humans, and luckily they are much more tolerant.  This means they experience fewer side effects and can maintain a great quality of life during and after treatment. Patients receive their treatment as an outpatient procedure, so they can go home the same day.
Call Capitol Illini today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Marcum and discuss your questions and concerns about cancer and treatment options for your pet. 
 We look forward to working with you!

Great Local Organization Makes Dog Biscuits!


Welcome to SPARC - Where we celebrate the triumph of the human spirit!
 Founded in 1951, Sparc is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Springfield area. For over 60 years, we’ve been dedicated to helping individuals find work and outlets to build self-confidence and independence, and live up to their potential.

Our work center provides training opportunities to help both individuals and local businesses. Our programs provide work to improve ability to engage in productive work activities through a focus on cooperation, attendance, productive capacity, and task completion. Individuals also receive assistance and training in physical fitness, computer skills, work-place relationships, volunteerism, self-advocacy, personal care and other hobbies. Building these skills allows individuals to find and maintain a place in a work atmosphere, and provides assistance to local businesses looking for help.

Contact Sparc today to learn more about our programs, who we help, and how you can give to our organization!

Beg-O-Bone makes delicious homemade dog treats that are sure to please your pooch! Take some home for your furry friend, or put them out at your local business to treat the community canines.
The newest of Sparc’s micro-businesses, Beg-O-Bone, produces fresh dog biscuits for retail sales, providing work training for individuals with disabilities. Our bakery is set up in our Work Center facility located at 2929 Stanton Avenue, Springfield, Il. Individuals supported by Sparc then measure, mix, roll, cut and bake the biscuits, making approximately 1500 great, bone-shaped dog biscuits for your pup to enjoy. Individuals are also responsible for quality control and packaging.
Beg-O-Bone dog biscuits are perfect for banks, dry cleaners, drive-thru's, mail carriers, police officers, or utility workers such as telephone repairmen and meter readers to keep a little treat handy.

Beg-O-Bone’s biscuits are made from all natural ingredients: white flour, whole wheat flour, dark caro syrup, molasses, garlic powder and silicone dioxide.

Place your order with Beg-O-Bone today, and support Sparc and the individuals we support at the same time.

1 lb. - approximately 50 biscuits - $ 5.00
5 lbs. - approximately 250 biscuits - $15.00
Decorated biscuit sticks (4) per package- $2.50
Small tin plain-$4.00
Small tin decorated with yogurt/sprinkles- $5.00

Call (217) 529-8793 or email Sparc will deliver your order right to your doggie door.

Check our their website @

Friday, April 4, 2014

Heart Murmurs in Dogs and Cats

Heart Murmurs in Dogs and Cats


What is a heart murmur?


When your veterinarian listens to your pet’s heart during their physical exam, the heart sounds are very similar to human heart sounds, described as “lub dub...lub dub...lub dub”.  A heart murmur is an abnormal heart sound that is caused by turbulent blood flow.  If your pet has a heart murmur, rather than these regular sounds, the heart beats may sound like “lub swoosh...lub swoosh...lub swoosh”.  The swooshing sound is caused by a disruption in smooth and regular blood flow through the heart.


What kinds of disease can cause a heart murmur?


A heart murmur is a clinical sign of heart disease, but it is not specific for the cause or the severity of your pet’s underlying heart disease. 

  •  In cats, heart murmurs are often caused by abnormal thickening of the heart walls, causing the heart walls to become stiff and rigid.  In turn, this reduces the amount of filling and pumping the heart can do.  The most common cat breeds affected are Maine Coon and Ragdoll.
  • In small dogs, heart murmurs are often caused by degeneration of the valves that keep blood flowing in a forward direction.  Specifically, the mitral valve, which forms a tight seal from the left atrium to the left ventricle, and can degenerate over time and allow blood to leak backwards into the atrium every time the heart pumps.  Other valves can also become degenerative over time, but the mitral valve is the most common.  The most common breeds affected are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Miniature Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Schnauzers, and Dachshunds. 
  • In puppies and kittens, a murmur detected on physical exam may be a sign of a congenital abnormality that may require early and aggressive treatment, or may go away within a few weeks of birth.  Fortunately, these murmurs are rare.
    How do I know if my pet has a heart murmur?
    You cannot tell your pet has a heart murmur just by looking at them.  Heart murmurs are detected on physical exam when your veterinarian listens to your pet’s heart sounds with a stethoscope.  If a heart murmur is detected for the first time during an exam, your veterinarian may recommend to re-check the murmur in a few weeks to see if it is still present or has changed.  Murmurs are graded on a scale from 1-6 and allow veterinarians to monitor for progression of the murmur over time.  Other signs of heart disease that you can watch for at home are coughing, exercise intolerance, lethargy, or increased respiratory (breathing) rate.
    My pet has just been diagnosed with a heart murmur, what do I do next?
    If your pet has just been diagnosed with a heart murmur, there is no need to panic.  Many dogs and cats have murmurs that do not progress to heart failure; they live a long full life that does not require treatment of their heart disease.  However, additional diagnostic tests may be necessary to determine the specific type of heart disease and how advanced it may be.  These tests help you and your veterinarian to determine if treatment is necessary.

  •  Chest x-rays may be recommended by your veterinarian to monitor for evidence of heart enlargement. 
  • An echocardiogram is an ultrasound exam of the heart; this test is useful to determine the exact cause of your pet’s heart disease and also determine how well your pet’s heart is functioning. 
  • Other tests such as an ECG (electrocardiogram) to evaluate the heart’s electrical activity, blood pressure, or blood tests may also be recommended.
  • In some cases, referral to a veterinary cardiologist may be recommended.
                                     Here is a radiograph of the heart and lungs
How do you treat a heart murmur?
There is no specific treatment for a heart murmur, but depending on the specific case, medications may be indicated.  Some heart disease medications work to decrease the work load on the heart by lowering blood pressure or decreasing blood volume.  Other medications are used to improve amount of blood the heart pumps out by strengthening the heart muscle contractions or slowing the heart rate to make the heart a more effective pump.  If your pet is diagnosed with a heart murmur, discuss the appropriate treatment options that are available to you and your pet.

                          Here Dr. Helgen is pictured performing an echocardiogram
                  (ultrasound of the heart) to evaluate a patient with a heart murmur.

An annual physical exam with your veterinarian is vital to detect heart murmurs, which are often the earliest and most subtle signs of underlying heart disease.  If your pet has a newly discovered heart murmur, talk to your veterinarian about what diagnostic tests are available, treatment options, and what you can be watching for at home. 


Monday, March 24, 2014

Heartworm Prevention Made Easy

Heartworm Prevention Made Easy

Trouble remembering to give that monthly Heartworm Preventative?  Do you still have heartworm pills or topical product left from last year?
Even missing one monthly dose for your companion can result in a heartworm infection!

Capitol Illini Veterinary Hospital now offers 6 months of Heartworm protection in one simple injection.  Ask one of our staff members or veterinarians about a Proheart 6 injection to protect  your dog.

What is Heartworm disease and how is my dog be exposed?  Heartworm Disease is a serious, potentially fatal disease transmitted to dogs by infected mosquitos. The larvae transmitted by the mosquito develops into an adult worm in the heart of the dog within 6 months. Dogs in areas with high levels of mosquitoes are especially at risk. No matter the time of year or whether your dog is indoor or outdoor; heartworm disease is a risk year round. That is why year round continuous heartworm preventative is so critical.

Symptoms of heartworm infection may go unnoticed during the first 6 months after transmission, and are only detectable by a blood test after 6 months. As the adult worms develop in the heart, your pet may begin to show clinical signs such as a chronic cough, lack of stamina during exercise, breathing difficulty or just plain not feeling well.

We at Capitol Illini Veterinary Services know you want to take the best care of your companion. Prevention of disease is preferable to treatment for a variety of reasons. Mainly to prevent damage to the heart and respiratory system which can be permanent and possibly fatal. Secondly; expenses, as prevention usually costs about 1/10 of the cost of treatment which takes 5 months and requires exercise restriction during the entire treatment period.

Our busy lives seem to pass by quickly and a month passes even faster. It seems as if it is always time to give that monthly medication again. What if you only had to rely on Capitol Illini Veterinary Services to remind you twice a year for heartworm Prevention?

What is ProHeart 6?  It is an injection that protects your dog from heartworm infection for a full 6 months.  This product, from Zoetis, uses Moxidectin in a slow release formulation that is proven effective in dogs of various breeds and sizes over 6 months of age.  It also treats hookworms, a common intestinal parasite at the time of injection.

So why not leave Heartworm prevention for your dog in the hands of the Veterinarians and trained staff members at Capitol Illini Veterinary Services. We will be happy to discuss heartworm prevention with you and see what will work best for you and your companion. Give us a call or email us at with any questions or to set up an appointment for your dog's first injection of ProHeart6.

Capitol Illini Veterinary Services where “Healthy Pets Make Happy People” 
Author:     Clyde D Dunphy DVM  

Friday, March 7, 2014

Happy Birthday Tomorrow to Dr. Marcum

Happy Birthday wishes to Dr. Marcum, who celebrates his special day tomorrow! We hope you have a terrific birthday!