Quarterly Prints (Summer 2016)

What’s New at CPVH?

We are very excited to announce that we have added a new doctor to our staff!

Dr. Alex Brenk was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. She’s lived in Oklahoma and Alaska but has been in Texas since high school. She received her undergraduate degrees in psychology and biology from Texas A&M University where she worked in a research lab studying addiction. She went on to attend veterinary school at Texas A&M University and graduated in 2016. Dr. Brenk is excited to begin her veterinary career at Claws & Paws Veterinary Hospital®.

Dr. Brenk has completed a number of externship, internship and special projects during her education, including Houston SPCA rotations, African Wildlife Conservation and Health Study Abroad in South Africa, Texas A&M Enrichment Camp and the San Antonio Zoo.

To read more about Dr. Brenk, or our other staff members, please visit our website at CPVH.com/Staff.

8:00am Appointments Now Available!

To help accommodate our clients wishing to have an early morning appointment, we now have appointments available beginning at 8:00am, every day Tuesday through Saturday during the summer months. If this is something that our clients realy like, then we will continue the early appointments.

Texas Summer Dangers

by Christel Alevy

Summer is back. After all this rain, the air is going to be more humid than ever, and with the heat returning it is important to watch your pets for heat stroke.

Heat stroke is defined as hyperthermia (high body temperature) because of environmental heat exposure with lack of thermoregulation. Usually the body temperature of a dog or cat is between 99 F and 102.5 F. Heat exhaustion can occur if their temperature rises above 103 F and a heat stroke can happen when their temperature is greater than 105 F.

Dogs have only a few sweat glands to regulate their body temperature, most of them situated under their paws. Panting is also an important way to regulate the temperature, which is more frequent in dogs. The rejected air is high in steam which transfers the heat outside the body, then the pet inhales fresh air. If the pet is in a stressful situation, his respiration rate will increase as well. If the environment is hot and humid this exchange will be inefficient.

When to look for:

  • During intense exercise
  • In a car, with or without an opened window, during mild or hot temperature, with or without sun. This is the most frequent cause of heat stroke. A dog left in a car can die within 15 minutes, even at mild temperatures.
  • In some breeds such as Pekingese, Boston, Bulldog, Boxer…all dogs with a short face
  • Even just outside, under the sun waiting for its owner or just taking a sunbath
  • In all cases, the environmental temperature and humidity are important conditions to watch for.

What to look for:

  • Strong and fast panting (even for cats!) It is not normal for cats to do open-mouth breathing.
  • Increased drooling, which dehydrates the animal faster
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty moving, dizziness (due to the accumulation of blood in the brain, which can cause brain edema)
  • Gum color is blue or purple because of the lack of oxygen in the blood
  • Convulsions
  • Unresponsiveness/Disorientation

How to React:

  • Submerge your pet into cold ice water or ice
  • Force your pet to drink
  • Leave your pet unattended


  • Immediately move your pet to a cool area
  • Immediately call your veterinarian
  • If you start to cool your pet, do it gradually
  • Offer some water and let your pet decide if he wants it or not

How to Prevent:

  • Don’t leave your pet in a car
  • Keep plenty of fresh, cool water available for your pet at all times
  • Exercise early in the morning or late in the evening when it is coolest
  • Ensure your pet has cool shade and is not directly under the sun
  • During long travel, make frequent stops to give your pet a break and fresh water and air

Did You Know?
n addition to dogs and cats, rabbits can also suffer from heat stroke? Remember, if you sweat and feel hot, your pet will feel it even more. Think of your pet as wearing a winter coat during the hot summer days.

Water Safety

by Kristen Hicks

With the summer months here and the kids out of school, many families will be headed to the beach, out on a boat, or simply enjoying some time in their back yard pool. While having your four legged best friend with you during these activities is fun, not only for your pet and for the whole family, there are many safety issues that arise when your pet is with you.

When going to the beach, as with children, always make sure to keep your pets within a safe distance or on a leash. Water currents and rip tides can be very dangerous and difficult to spot and can easily sweep your pet out into the ocean.

Make sure to not allow your pets to drink large amounts of salt water as this can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Always keep a fresh bowl of water out and accessible for your pet at all times as a healthy and safer alternative to the salt water. This will also help your pet stay hydrated on a hot summer day. Also, ensure they do not eat anything laying on the beach or anything in the water, as this can not only cause vomiting and diarrhea, but also has the potential to cause much more severe issues.

When swimming with your pets in a pool, always make sure there is a way for them to get out and that they know how to use it. If possible, keep the area fenced off when you are not at home to prevent any accidents. Before getting in the pool, make sure your pets know how to swim and make sure the water temperature is not too hot or too cold. Also, be sure to check the temperature of the concrete, bricks, etc. surrounding your pool area, as this has the tendency to be extremely hot during summer days and can actually burn your pet’s paw pads.

If you plan on taking your furry friends on a boat, a life jacket is highly recommended. These can be purchased at pet stores and are well worth the small investment. Ensure all fishing gear, bait and sharp objects are stored away from your pets at all times. Unfortunately, during the summer, a common scene in veterinary clinics is having pets brought in with fishing hooks stuck in them, and them even swallowing the hook because there was tasty bait on it!

After any type of swimming, it is always a good idea to rinse your pet off with fresh water. This will help to keep their skin and hair coat healthy as well as to help wash off any sand, salt water, bacteria, etc. from your pet. After washing off your pet and any type of swimming, use a drying ear flush which will help prevent any yeast or bacterial ear infections from occurring. These products can be purchased here at Claws & Paws.

Please be safe and enjoy your summer!

Should Your Dog Be Vaccinated for Leptospira?

by Julie Wickel, DVM

Leptospira is a spirochete bacteria that is very common in this area of the United States. It is considered a zoonotic organism, which means that it not only infects dogs, but can also infect humans as well.

It is usually spread by contact with water contaminated with urine from wildlife. Rats and mice can also carry it. Dogs exposed to ponds, lakes, ditch water, or standing water in the back yard are most at risk. However, indoor dogs are at risk of exposure if a house or apartment has problems with mice or rats.

It most commonly attacks the liver and the kidneys and can not only cause inflammation or failure of those organs, but can also affect any organ in the body such as the blood vessels (vasculitis), muscles (myositis and myalgia), eyes (uveitis with potential blindness), inflammation of the nervous system (meningitis), immune-mediated diseases, and cause abortion.

Prevalence varies but usually correlates with rainfall and warm weather. The time from exposure to clinical signs of disease can range from three days to three weeks.

Prevention of this disease is primarily to avoid exposure to standing water. It is recommended that at-risk dogs be vaccinated for this disease. The vaccine protects against the four most common serovars (types) of leptospira.

If you think that your dog may be at risk, or you have further questions, please call and speak with one of our friendly staff members.

2017 Calendar Contest – Submit Your Pet’s Photo

After the success of last year’s calendar, we have decided to run a contest for our 2017 Claws & Paws Calendar. You can submit your pet’s photo at contest@cpvh.com for your chance to win a spot in next year’s calendar.

Deadline to submit photo(s) is midnight (CST), Friday, September 30, 2016.

Complete Rules and additional information can be found on our website at CPVH.com/Calendar.

Sago Palm Hazards

by Cassie Godfrey

Sago palms are plants that can be found throughout America. Even though they appear to be short palm trees, they are actually cycads. The cycad group dates all the way back to prehistoric times. Over the last decade, these plants have become extremely popular. Unfortunately, not many pet owners realize just how dangerous these plants are to their animals.

Every part of the sago palm plant is toxic to both dogs and cats with the seed being the most toxic part. The sago palm’s active toxic agent is called cycasin. This toxin is what causes liver failure in animals. If your pet ingests any part of the sago palm, they may show the following symptoms: vomiting, blood in the stool, loose stools, yellowing of the skin, increased thirst, increased urination, neurological signs (depression, paralysis, seizures, etc.), and death. Blood and urine tests can be used to confirm liver failure caused by sago palm ingestion.

If ingestion has just taken place and symptoms are not yet present, your veterinarian may induce vomiting. If your pet is already showing symptoms of liver failure, or tests have confirmed it, your vet will need to perform additional treatment. This typically includes hospitalization, administering fluids and blood/plasma transfusions. There are also many other treatment regimens your vet may take, so that’s why it is always best to contact them immediately if you believe your pet has ingested any part of a sago palm.

If you believe that your pet has ingested any portion of a sago palm, no matter how small the amount may be, it is extremely important to call your veterinarian immediately. It could mean the difference between life and death.

The best form of prevention is to get rid of any sago palms in your house or yard. Even if your pet does not normally chew on or eat plants, all it takes is one time. These plants are not worth it.

Treats for the Sweet

by Jenn Larsen

We all love to spoil our furry family members and what better way to do that than to make some homemade treats! Besides fresh fruits and veggies like apples and carrots, homemade treats are a way to control what’s going in them as well as throwing extra love into the mix. Here are a couple of quick and easy ones you can make at home. They are people-friendly too, so don’t feel guilty for sneaking a few.

For recipes visit our website at CPVH.com/treats.