Quarterly Prints (Spring)

What’s New at CPVH?

We have had a few staff members move on in their career, including two moving on to local specialty hospitals in the area. We are sad to see them go, but understand and wish them all well in their new positions. As a result we have begun an extensive search for staff to replace these individuals, but know it is no easy task. Fortunately, we have already found one outstanding individual to fill one of the vacant positions. Please join us in welcoming Ashley Ward. You can read more on here on our staff page.

We are however; continuing our search to fill two vacancies we currently have. We are looking for experienced or licensed veterinary technicians to add to our team. If you know of an experienced veterinary technician looking for a new and exciting position, please let them know we’d love to discuss their qualifications. They can complete and application at CPVH.com/Jobs.

Alternatives to Treatment for Arthritis

by Julie Wickel, DVM
Most people are familiar with conventional medications like steroids (prednisone) and non-steroidals (NSAIDS such as carprofen/rimadyl) used to treat arthritis. But did you know that there are several other treatments available besides these that are offered here at Claws and Paws Veterinary Hospital?


Acupuncture is stimulation of certain points of the body via small needles to treat varied disease conditions such as arthritis and acute or chronic pain, among many others. Besides treating pain, it also increases circulation to the affected area, releases endorphins, relieves muscle spasms, and stimulates nerves and the body’s immune defense system, along with other numerous beneficial biological effects. It is one of the safest therapies available and side effects are rare. Acupuncture can be used by itself or as an adjunct with other treatment modalities. Not only does acupuncture improve the quality of your pet’s life, it has also saved many pets’ lives.

Laser Therapy

Is your pet afraid of needles? Then laser therapy is the answer. LASER is an acronym that stands for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The effects of laser therapy include improved healing time, pain reduction, increased circulation to the tissues, decreased inflammation, improved nerve function and reduced swelling. It is completely painless and side effects are extremely rare. It can be used with many other therapies to treat arthritis and acute or chronic ligament/muscle pain.

Herbal Formulations

Herbal formulations can consist of single herbs, many of which can be found over-the-counter, and formulations consisting of many herbal combinations. While the majority of these herbs are safe, they should not be used unless directed by your veterinarian. Herbs are often used as an adjunct to conventional medications used for inflammation and pain relief, along with many other disease conditions. Besides being used as an adjunct to treatment, they may be used when other medications have unwanted side effects, are too expensive, or owners want to try only natural medications.

Glucosamine, MSM, Chondroitin Sulfate and Adequan

These substances are naturally found in the joints and help to maintain joint health. They not only help with pain, but also strengthen joints. They help to prevent arthritis, prolong the time before arthritis worsens, and can even reverse some arthritis. It is recommended that only dog and cat products be used—no human formulations.

Good news for cat owners! While there are minimal conventional arthritis medications that are safe to use in cats, all of the above mentioned treatments can and have been used to treat cats with arthritis.

Sock the Homeless

Claws & Paws Veterinary Hospital® is proud to support Dr. Wickel in her efforts to “Sock the Homeless”. We don’t mean she is going out and punching them, rather she is collecting new socks to distribute to those in need. Dr. Wickel is very active in local community organizations and often goes down to Galveston to feed the homeless. She has noticed a need among many of those she is trying to help. According to some reports, socks are the most needed item for those in need and often the least donated item.

We ask that you consider donating to this cause. We have set up a donation box in our reception area so you can stop by and simply drop socks into the bin. You can drop them off at any time during business hours at Claws & Paws at 2556 E. Broadway, Pearland, Texas 77581.

Types of Socks needed include those for babies, children and adult women and men. If you’d prefer to mail socks in for this cause, you can mail them to the same address and put them to the attention of Sock the Homeless.

Why is My Dog Squinting?

by Meghan Harris, DVM
If your pet develops sudden squinting or a red eye, what can you expect from an exam from your veterinarian at Claws & Paws? Whether an eyelash or a more severe problem, we have the capability and expertise to perform a full ophthalmic exam, diagnose and treat many ocular diseases.

There are three major causes of ocular pain: corneal disease, inflammation inside of the eye, and high ocular pressures. Your veterinarian will first use a combination of lights and magnification tools to evaluate your dog’s vision and ocular tissues. If indicated, there my be a recommendation for further testing.

Just as many people can develop dry eye, so can many dog breeds (brachycephalic breeds, Cocker Spaniels, West Highland White Terriers, etc). We can test your dog’s tear production with a specialized strip of paper impregnated with dye. We will place these test strips in contact with your dog’s eye and measure how much tears are produced. If your dog’s tear production is low, treatment with a prescription eye medication is often a sufficient and rapid therapy. However, dry eye is most often a condition that requires lifelong therapy. If drops are discontinued, your dog’s dry eye will return.

Next, if a corneal scratch or ulcer in the front tissue of the eye is suspected, we will recommend that a green stain is applied. That stain (called fluorescein) will highlight microscopic or larger defects. Corneal ulcers can progress rapidly if not treated with antibiotics and pain medications, often resulting in emergency surgery to save the eye if medical therapy is not sought early enough.

Finally, we have a specialized instrument to screen your pet for high eye pressures (glaucoma). If glaucoma is suspected, we will numb your dog’s eye with an anesthetic eye drop, and check their intraocular pressure with a tonometer. The tonometer calculates the eye pressure once it gently is applied to the surface of the eye. Regular glaucoma screening is essential in many breeds that are predisposed to this potentially blinding disease (e.g. Beagles, Basset Hounds, Cocker Spaniels, Boston Terriers, etc). If undiagnosed or untreated, glaucoma will invariably result in blindness and profound ocular pain.

Although many ocular diseases are easily treated, specialized diagnostic tests may help aid your veterinarian in directing treatment. Expect your veterinarian to discuss checking your dog’s tear production, staining their eye for an ulcer, and screening them for glaucoma the next time they develop squinting!

Dear Abby

Dear Abby,

My human has no clue when it comes to doggie etiquette. She keeps forcing me to snuggle with people I don’t know and lets all of her weird “friends” pet me. She makes me “play” with dogs I don’t like. She doesn’t seem to be able to see past her own enthusiasm to realize how uncomfortable I am. Her eagerness to share me like a possession and not treat me like the individual that I am, is rather exasperating. I know I’m an adorable dog, but really! I am giving her all the right signals; hiding behind her, keeping my tail tucked and my ears back, I’ve even rumbled a low growl a few times. Still, she doesn’t have a clue. Help me!


Owned by Misguided Gusto

Dear OMG (Owned by Misguided Gusto),

O.M.G! I am so confused. It sounds to me like you are sending the wrong signals. Perhaps there’s a language barrier issue? Keeping your tail to yourself is kitty language for contentment. If I’m wagging my tail, you better look out! That means this diva is about to get all kinds of alley cat mad! Now if I’m rumbling, that’s a good thing honey! Rumbling in Fenglish (Feline English) is a happy sound. Maybe you’ve heard it called purring? Anyway, my point is the signals you’re sending sound a little off the mark.

My advice? Stop purring, start wagging your tail, and try to be a little less “adorable”. You dogs seem quite fond of rolling in stinky things. Maybe try to find some putrid, rotting, dead thing to roll around in just before company comes over? Seems less than appealing to snuggle something that smells like rancid meat on a hot Texas day. Just a thought.



Dear Abby,

A few nights ago, my owner and I were watching a Full House marathon together, on the couch. During my favorite episode (the one where Uncle Jesse obsesses about his hair), my owner fell asleep….snoring….with his mouth open. I noticed that he had few leftover bits of chicken wing stuck in his teeth. Being the helpful companion that I am, I decided to help him out by gently licking the chickeny morsels from his chompers. Things got a little dicey when I noted a particularly large piece behind a molar and had to cram nearly my entire face into his mouth to reach it. Apparently, he felt this was uncivilized activity and began rinsing his mouth and spitting everywhere. I say not sharing your chicken wings in the first place is “uncivilized activity”, and what about good oral hygiene?! I may have saved him from the agony of gum disease, and yet he remains ungrateful.

Respectfully yours,

Dental Hygienist Hopeful

Dear Hopeful,

I too am no stranger to the delectable deliciousness that is person-food. It’s not often that Abby can’t point out the flawed logic of my followers, but on this topic you were totally in the right. All is fair in love and war and food. If they are going to taunt us with scrumptious person-food while feeding us nothing but dry, tasteless, kibbles; I say do what you must! What you did wasn’t even that bad anyway!! You were simply taking the tidbits destined for the nightly water-pik and saving him time by water-piking for him. Seems pretty selfless to me. All I’m saying is they feed us enough to sustain us, but what about our souls?! My soul wants cheese, glorious cheese! Next time, just take the whole dang chicken wing.

Yours in gluttony,