Alexa has been working at Hawthorne Animal Hospital for over 1 year. She has always enjoyed working with animals and has previous experience from animal shelters and doggy daycares. She is a senior at Olathe East High School. She has a dog Ellie, and 1 cat named Diesel. She is planning to attend Pitt State in the fall of 2019.

Dr. Beth Foster, Relief DVM

Dr. Beth Foster joins us from Clay Center and graduated from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. 

After finishing vet school, she completed an internship in small-animal medicine and surgery in Chesapeake, Virginia. She then relocated to the other side of the country and continued her work with small animals over in Southern California, before moving back to Kansas in 2006, where she continued her work as a relief and full-time veterinarian. 

Dr. Foster and her husband Ben have three children: a son named Jack and two daughters named Finley and Quinn. They are also pet parents to a Labradoodle who goes by Moose. When Dr. Foster isn’t helping heal animals, she enjoys yoga, being in the outdoors and watching her kids play sports.

December Pet Safety Tips!

December Pet Safety Tips!

It’s almost time for the holidays! While you’re enjoying things like time off from work, family gatherings, peppermint mochas, gifts, meals and everything else December-related, we’d just like to borrow a second of your time to remind you about how the holidays affect your pets, too.

Here are some tips to follow to make sure your best friend has as much fun as you do during this holiday season:

• Don’t give pets table scraps. Giving animals people food can severely disrupt their internal system and can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, severe weight gain and more.

• Keep holiday presents away from invasive snouts. Curious pets can get through almost any form of packaging and may easily access those yummy chocolates and other holiday treats.

• Avoid bringing toxic plants to your house. Common holiday plants like poinsettias and mistletoe can cause misery to pets if they ingest them, so be extra careful. For a full list of good plants and bad plants, check out the ASPCA’s handy guide here.

• Make sure tree decorations are out of paw’s reach. Tinsel, ornaments and lights are all bad news bears if your pet gets their chompers on them. Tinsel can cause intestinal blockage, chewed lights can shock pets and sharp ornaments can easily injure anyone, man or beast. A good idea is to place a pet-proof barrier around your holiday tree.

• Watch those spirits and libations. Alcohol is not good for pets! Absolutely keep these beverages high and away from any nosy muzzles.

• Provide a pet sanctuary during times of merriment. If you’re having a holiday gathering then the loud noises, laughter and abundance of guests may make your pet anxious. Prepare a safe place for them complete with bedding, toys, treats, water and a litter box for those kitty cats.

Since you’re a fabulous and responsible pet owner, we know you’ll take these tips to heart. At Hawthorne Animal Hospital, we just want to give you a gentle nudge and a reminder that preparing for the festivities means getting your animal companion prepared as well! If you have any questions on any of the above scenarios, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 913-325-4081.

Fleas and Ticks Don’t Take a Vacation!

Many people think fleas and ticks are just a summer problem—like bad TV and road construction. But the fact is that with rising temperatures and increased rainfall, these pests are a year-round problem requiring year-round protection.

Don’t overlook the problem these insects can cause: fleas can trigger dermatitis, tapeworm and anemia; one tick bite can transmit numerous dangerous illnesses to pets and people, including Lyme disease.

In addition to preventive medications, you should thoroughly check your pets for fleas and ticks regularly if they’ve been outdoors. Although fleas and ticks can be anywhere on your pet’s body, they prefer posting up near the head, ears, neck and paws. You can spot evidence of fleas if you notice little black specks that resemble pepper or bits of dirt. Once in your home, a flea infestation is hard to eradicate, and ticks can jump from animals to family members very easily.

Prevention is always the best treatment! We carry many different types of flea and tick preventive and your HAH veterinarian can help you choose which one is right for your pet and your budget. For more information or to schedule an appointment, just give us a call at (913) 325-4099.


Fleas? What are those?
The flea is an external parasite of many species of mammals including cats and dogs. Adult fleas live on the animal and bite the skin, which allows them to consume the animal’s blood. There are also many species of fleas, however, the fleas that live on dogs, cats and some other mammals are the same species. This means that dogs can get fleas from cats, and vice versa! Yuck!

Oh no! You’ve found a flea on your pet! How did that get there?
Fleas can be picked up from a variety of sources, including wildlife and their nests, the environment, stray cats and dogs, and even from people’s clothes. Once they get in your household, they can be a menace to both the two-legged and four-legged occupants in your home!

But it’s the middle of the winter! How did my pet get fleas?
It’s important to understand the life cycle of the flea. Adult fleas live on an animal, feasting on their blood. These adult fleas will then lay eggs, which fall off into the surrounding area whenever the pet scratches or shakes. The flea eggs then hatch up to 1 month later, and the flea larvae begin developing within the bedding, flooring, carpet fibers, or other areas in the house. The developed fleas will then jump back on your pet and continue the life cycle. In this way, fleas can complete their entire life cycle within the warmth and safety of your home!

That’s gross! How do I get rid of them?
The best way to get rid of fleas is through a multimodal approach. The most important factor is to begin using a monthly flea and tick medication for your pet all year round. This will kill any fleas that have jumped back on your pet since the last application or use of the medication. Please contact your veterinarian for recommendations on which medication is best for your pet. This method is the best way to clear a flea infestation, and to prevent reoccurrence. The second part is to give your pet a bath, using diluted Dawn dish soap. Use regular, watered down Dawn, and be careful not to get it in your pet’s eyes, ears, or mouth.

Lastly, vacuuming carpet, floors, furniture, and laundering bedding is sufficient to reduce most of the flea eggs and larva from the environment. If any remaining fleas survive to fully develop, these fleas will be killed once they feed on your pet for the first time. Use these tips to help keep your pet and home flea-free!

Dr. Nick Bauer