Quarterly Prints (Spring) 2017

What’s new at CPVH?

With this edition of Quarterly Prints, we have made several changes, including a few new staff members and Externs. Our newest Kennel Technician, Jessica, Technician Assistants include Ally and Jennifer. And, our newest Extern, Lindsay, who is a recent graduate of VTI (Vet Tech Institute) in Houston. And, after a short hiatus, Robin has returned to Claws & Paws. You can read more about all of them and other staff by visiting our Staff Page.

We have updated our App, so if you haven’t downloaded, or haven’t used it in a while, we encourage you to do so.

Retractable Leashes

by Kristen Hicks

Most pet owners want to give their animals as much freedom to roam as possible. But, having a retractable leash shouldn’t mean you have a 30-foot leash. Many believe that retractable leashes are a good way to achieve this, not knowing the dangers associated with them. Imagine being in a dog park with a small nervous dog, when suddenly a larger excited dog runs up and starts sniffing your dog. The smaller dog may feel threatened and become aggressive towards the larger dog. The owner may not be able to pull the dog away in time. Retractable leashes allow the dog to get a dangerous distance from the owner. It leaves the dog vulnerable to other pets, cars on a busy street or things on the ground that may be hazardous for your pet to eat or touch.

Retractable leashes also have the potential to cause injury to our fur babies and ourselves. There have been reports of neck and back injuries from pets running and being jerked by the leash. Some pets have a tendency to get tangled up in the leash. There have even been reports of needed finger amputations from the owner grabbing onto the cord while the pet is in motion. Multiple reports of rope burn and skin rashes have occurred as well. The cord has the potential to snap and fly back, hitting the owner or the animal.

Retractable leashes are made to fit in your palm comfortably; however, they can be easily dropped at times. For instance, if your pet sees a squirrel in the distance, and takes off running while you aren’t paying attention, you may drop the handle. Once again this gives your pet the opportunity to run into a busy street or get into another dangerous situation. There is also the risk of the handle flying back at the animal and striking it.

These are a few of the dangers associated with retractable leashes. However, retractable leashes can also be safe to use in many situations and with people who know how to properly use them. If you are unfamiliar with these leashes or do not know the proper way to use them or in what situations to use them, please consider using a regular leash when out and about with your dogs. The safety of yourself and your pet should always be your number one priority.

It’s Springtime!

by Emily Renick

It’s springtime! And springtime means babies! Here at Claws & Paws Veterinary Hospital®, several of us have recently brought home our new two-legged babies to meet their new fur-friends. Bringing home a new baby is an adjustment, not just for you, but for your fur-family also. This new addition brings new smells, noises, and lifestyle changes that your pet is not used to. These tips and tricks are to help you make the transition as smooth as possible for you and your four-legged friends.

First, decide on boundaries. Have spaces available to your pets where they can escape, such as a room with a baby gate for your cats or a large kennel with your dog’s favorite toys. Making sure these safe spaces are baby-free zones is a must. Make sure to also have pet-free zones, such as the nursery. Deciding on boundaries ahead of time will give you less to worry about when you bring your new bundle of joy home.

Second, several weeks leading up to your baby’s birth, begin acclimating your pets to the new sounds, smells and objects that will be present when you bring your baby home. You can find videos online that include babies laughing, crying, and babbling and play these sounds for them a few times a week. Ask your friends for hand-me-downs that smell like their children, and let your animals smell them and lay them around your home. Also, once your baby is born, make sure to take a couple of little blankies to the hospital to get your baby’s smell on them and bring them home for your pets to smell prior to bringing the baby home from the hospital.

Set up your baby equipment early. Watch your pet’s reactions as you move the objects around. Take your dog for a walk with the new stroller to introduce him to the new walking style. Getting into a routine leading up to your baby’s birth can not only help your pet, but you, too! Make sure to not allow your pets to enter a space or lay where they won’t be allowed to in the future with the baby at home.

Last but not least, make sure to spend time with your pets before the new arrival and after your new arrival! Teach your dog a new trick. It will be helpful to teach them something to divert them from doing something unfavorable later on around the baby. You can also play with your cat, or take a catnap with her!

If you need more tips, the aspca.org has some great ones. Don’t be afraid to call us at any time to ask any questions that you may have concerning your pet family.

Leave Him Home

Dorian Strickland

Each year here at Claws & Paws Veterinary Hospital®, we have pets come into the hospital suffering from heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. Unfortunately, many of these are completely preventable. We are trying to start a movement and we need your help. We call it #LeaveHimHome! Basically, we are encouraging pet owners to leave their pets in the comfort of their air-conditioned home instead of taking them with them when they head out for the day. Of course, if you’re taking your pet to the pet store, the vet, or even the park, we understand. But, what we don’t want is for your pet to be left unattended in your vehicle for any length of time.

We are talking about not taking your pet if there is a chance you will be stopping at the store, a friend’s house, or anywhere else when you may need to leave him or her unattended. Familiar stories include, “I was only in the store for five minutes” and “I left the car in the shade with the windows down”. The problem with this is that dogs cool off differently than we do. We sweat, dogs don’t!

The image to the side shows how high the temperature in your vehicle can climb in just a few minutes; especially when the temperature is already triple-digits.

So now, how can you help? We want you to:

  • Pledge that you will #LeaveHimHome.
  • Take a picture of yourself with your pet, while holding a sign that shows your commitment.
  • Share your photo with us using the link on our website (listed below). We may use this photo to educate others on the dangers of the summer heat in Texas.
  • Share your commitment on your own Social Media sites using the hashtags #LeaveHimHome and #ClawsAndPawsVet so we can capture these.
  • Share your commitment on our Social Media sites. You can access them all at CPVH.com/Social

We have created a page on our website at CPVH.com/LeaveHimHome where you can get everything you need to get started. This is a convenient way to share this with others so we can get everyone involved.

You can read about the pledge and what it means for our pets. You can print your full-color pledge to use in your photo so you can share your story and your pledge. Lastly, we have a link where you can share your photo directly with us so we can print it and display it in our reception area. To show that your are committed to this project, stop by the clinic and pick up a sticker to proudly display on your vehicle letting everyone know your commitment to #LeaveHimHome. And please use the Hashtag #LeaveHimHome when posting to all Social Media.

Photos Wanted Now

for Open House project in October

By now you’ve probably heard that it’s been almost 20-years since we at Claws & Paws Veterinary Hospital® opened our doors. We are so excited to celebrate this milestone and we want your pet to be a part of it. We are currently collecting photos of all the pets we have seen over the years and we need your help. We would like for you to send us a photo of your pet whether he is still with you or not. If we’ve seen him over the past 20 years, we want the highest quality photo you can get to us. If you don’t have any digital images, you can bring us a 4×6 (or larger) photo and we can scan it and give the original back to you.

If you do have a high-quality digital image, please sent it to photos@cpvh.com so we can use it in our project for our upcoming open house, scheduled for Saturday, October 14th.

Heartworm Disease in Ferrets

Julie Wickel, DVM

Did you know that Ferrets can get heartworms? Just as with dogs and cats, ferrets can get heartworms when bitten by an infected mosquito. These worms live in the heart and lungs along with their associated blood vessels and look like strings of spaghetti. Even one heartworm can cause severe disease because of their small hearts.
Being kept inside does not protect ferrets from mosquitos. We’ve all seen mosquitos in our houses. In the Gulf Coast area, mosquitos are year-round, especially with our mild winters.

Clinical signs of heartworm disease in ferrets are weakness/inactivity, cough, pale or dark red gum color, enlarged abdomen, difficulty breathing, and even death due to heart failure. Identifying immature heartworms, the microfilariae, in the blood is not always possible. Many times a chest x-ray and heart ultrasound is needed to identify the worms and the severity of disease.

There is no safe treatment for heartworms in ferrets. Treatment can be risky. However, these can easily be prevented! There are some heartworm prevention medications that are safe for ferrets; however, the dosing is different from that of dogs and cats.

Caution: These drugs, like any medications, should only be given on the advice and per the directions of a veterinarian.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly staff.

Tag Us and/or Use Our Hashtag

When posting photos of your pets to Social Media, please remember to “tag” us with @ClawsAndPawsVet or by using the hashtag #ClawsAndPawsVet. And, please share any of our post that you “like” or find interesting. This is the best way for us to educate and reach a larger audience.

Boarding Loyalty Program

Earn free upgrades for boarding your pet with us.

Earn Free upgrades just for boarding your pet with us. Read more about this program on our website at CPVH.com/Loyalty. Or ask us about it when you’re ready to schedule your next vacation.