Quarterly Prints (Fall) 2018
What’s New at CPVH?
Technician – Kaitlyn
Technician Assistant – Laura
Kennel Technician – Katana
High School Interns – Paris, Hannah & Justin
Lindsay Diekman & Emily Renick have both completed all necessary requirements and are now Licensed Veterinary Technicians. Join us in congratulating them both.
Heartworm Disease & Prevention
by Lindsay Diekman, L.V.T.
Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal disease that is contracted from the bite of an infected mosquito. Once an animal is infected, heartworms develop in the heart, blood vessels and lungs. Eventually, the heartworms become so large and numerous that they clog the main blood vessel that would normally deliver oxygen to the rest of the body. Thus, organ malfunction and fatality can occur.
Symptoms of heartworm disease may include, but are not limited to, a persistent mild cough, lethargy, decreased appetite and unintentional weight loss. Many pets may not display any symptoms at all, so an annual heartworm test along with monthly heartworm prevention is recommended.
Thankfully, heartworm disease is preventable with a once a month oral or topical medication.
Heartworm prevention is recommended in Texas year round. In Texas, we rarely see anything other than mild weather, so we must remain especially diligent in giving our pets their medication each and every month. It is important to keep them on a regular schedule. While some areas of the United States can rely on their frosty winters to deter most of their pesky mosquitos, we in Texas do not have that luxury. However, no matter your location, the American Heartworm Society strongly recommends giving heartworm prevention year round as “mosquitos are constantly changing and adapting to their environment” and continue to pose the threat of heartworm disease.
Heartworm prevention is also recommended for pets that are kept indoors only. It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito that has found its way inside your home after a window was left open or the door was left ajar.
It is even recommended for your cat! While rare, our cats can become infected as well. There is no treatment for heartworm disease in cats, so prevention is key!
While heartworm disease is treatable, it can have long-term effects on your pets’ health and quality of life long after the heartworms have been removed.
Let’s keep our pets safe and begin them on a heartworm prevention regimen today. Please ask your veterinarian which heartworm prevention is right for your pet!
You Can Now Check-In From Your Car
The next time you go to Claws & Paws for your pet’s appointment, look for this sign in the parking lot. You can text us that you’re here and we’ll get you checked in. We’ll let you know as soon as your room is ready, and if needed, we’ll send someone out to assist you and your pet into the building. Read more at CPVH.com/Check-In.
Making Your Veterinary Visit Smooth
by Emily Renick, L.V.T.
Here are some tips to get you and your pet prepared for their next vet visit. This will ensure your pet gets the best care he or she deserves. Help us help ya’ll!
Records – Help us help your pet. Our doctors can make more informed decisions with a complete history of your pet. Maybe you are a new client or you had to use another vet in an emergency situation. Whatever your situation, previous records are important to your pet’s health.
Samples – The most common sample we ask for is a stool sample. Bringing in a stool sample will be one less stressor to your pet during their vet visit. We ask that stool samples are less than 24-hours old and put in a refrigerator if it will be more than a couple of hours before your arrival. If we ask for any other samples, like urine, to be collected at home, we can give you the proper guidelines for storage to ensure your sample stays fresh.
Food – Know what brand and type food your pet normally eats and how much. Also note any recent changes. With this information we can let you know if there are any recalls that may affect your pet. We can also help you regulate your pet’s weight and monitor any potential sensitivities or allergies. Any treats, table scraps or dietary indiscretions are also helpful information to know about your pet.
Medications –Although we may have prescribed the medications your pet is on, we like to know what medication, how much, and how often you are giving it. Bring the bottles or write them down before you come in. This can help us prevent any negative drug interactions and identify side effects. It is also important to know any supplements or over-the-counter drugs that you are giving your pet.
Make an Appointment – When you make an appointment, it gives the doctor more time to focus solely on your patient. We are better able to prepare for your arrival and appropriately address any concerns that may be stressful to your pet in the hospital. You now may also check in and wait in your car with your pet if they are more comfortable waiting there. If you have an emergency we always welcome you to come in or call us on your way. Of course, if you cannot make an appointment, we will try our best to see you in a timely maner.
Leashes and Carriers – You never know what pets you may encounter in the vet’s office. Although we try to prevent pets with potentially contagious symptoms from remaining in the lobby, we cannot always control that.
Your fluffy friend may be okay with other pets, but you don’t know how other pets will respond to you and your baby. It is best to keep your dog on a short and non-retractable leash while in the building. We recommend all of our feline friends enter and exit the hospital in a carrier as this will prevent any type of escape.
Radiology in Animal MedicineLow-Stress – Imagine how stressed you can be at the doctor or dentist, then imagine how stressful it would be if you could not communicate with them. This is how your pet may feel while they are here. We always try to provide ways of making your pet’s visits enjoyable while they are with us, like treats or cozies in their cages. If your pet is staying with us please bring them something that reminds them of home (toy, bed, blanket, etc.) If you believe your pet is overly stressed, mention it the next time you are in or when you make an appointment. We can provide tips and tricks or a low stress kit to help you help your furry baby.
by Kaitlyn Hughes
Radiology plays an important role in animal medicine. There are many different modalities in animal medicine that are used to image your furry friend, and we use 2 of them, x-rays and ultrasound.
X-rays (radiographs) allow our veterinarians to view images of your pet’s bones and internal organs. When the veterinarians request to take radiographs, it’s usually because of suspected injuries from trauma, broken bones, heart and lung disease and to evaluate if the patient has swallowed a foreign body object.
There are a few different types of x-rays that we take. They are Chest, Abdominal, Orthopedic and Dental.
• Chest x-rays target the lungs, heart, diaphragm, esophagus and trachea. X-rays can indicate whether or not there is heart disease, pneumonia or other diseases of the lungs.
• Abdominal x-rays target all the abdominal organs: stomach, kidneys, bladder, spleen and the intestines. The shape and size of these organs can help diagnose of the problem.
• Orthopedic x-rays can reveal fractures and other orthopedic disorders that may be common due to your pet’s age, breed or history.
• Dental x-rays target your pet’s teeth, but also targets what’s below the gum line. Taking dental x-rays will let the veterinarian know that your pet may have a dental problem, such as an abscessed tooth, that can be treated, relieving discomfort.
When taking chest and abdominal radiographs, the veterinarian will most likely want to take three views. The reason behind that is, two of the three images may seem like there is nothing wrong but, on the last and third image, the doctor may spot the problem. For orthopedics, it is most likely the doctor will only request two views per each problem leg.
Ultrasound lets the veterinarians image your pet’s abdomen or heart in real time. A benefit for your pet having an ultrasound is the veterinarian can isolate the problem by placing an ultrasound probe to your pet’s abdomen to find the problem. When a mass is noticeable on x-rays or palpable on your pet, an ultrasound can be performed to help locate where the mass is originating from (liver, spleen, etc.) Other reasons we would like for your pet to get an ultrasound include urinary tract disease (bladder and kidneys), gastrointestinal disease, and elevated liver enzymes.
The goal for x-rays and ultrasounds is to help diagnose or obtain the answer without having to perform more invasive procedures.
Dogs of Justice
by Morgan Strickland
We’ve all seen dogs assisting police officers on television: chasing suspects, sniffing for drugs, and searching for missing people. Have you ever wondered what’s behind these four-legged helpers? Normally we associate K9 officers with ferocious German Shepherds that chase down and bite suspects! However, there is so much more to these helpful canines.
There are nearly twenty dog breeds typically used in law enforcement. Breeds vary depending upon the tasks that they are trained to do. There are four jobs held by K9 officers: patrol, search and rescue, detection, and arson.
Patrol: These are the dogs we generally see in pursuit of a suspect. They track down the bad guy and help human officers detain them if needed.
Search and Rescue: These dogs are used to locate missing people, using their incredible sense of smell. They have been used to search for lost children, escaped convicts, runaways, and the elderly (dementia).
Detection: These dogs are trained to detect certain smells. They can be used to detect the presence of explosives (bombs), illegal narcotics, or other contraband. These K9 officers specialize in only one detection area to allow human handlers to know exactly what the dog is alerting to.
Arson: These dogs are trained to react to materials used to start arson fires; such as gasoline or other flammable substances. Arson dogs are often used by fire departments to assist in arson investigations.
Police departments may train dogs to be dual purpose. They can be trained in multiple areas to maximize efficiency. For example; a Dutch Shepherd at a police department in our area is trained in patrol, narcotics detection, and search and rescue.
Police dogs begin training at a young age. Basic dog training begins during puppyhood; this is best completed with the human officer they will ultimately be assigned to. These formative months are not only used for training, but help the K9 officer bond with his human partner. They begin formal police dog training at 18-24 months depending upon individual maturity. Training methods may vary from department to department, but positive reinforcement is best to further the relationship between K9 and human partners. While the work may be serious, it’s important that the dogs have fun and enjoy their work.
K9 officers fill a unique role and help to keep the community safe. While human handlers do their best to keep K9 officers safe, the job is not without risk. Patrol K9s often wear bullet-proof vests to improve safety. Many departments have canine specific first-aid kits ready, should a K9 officer become injured. Area emergency veterinarians offer training to police dog handlers. This training can provide officers with the ability to administer emergency treatment in the field, should their K9 partner become injured in the line of duty.
Supporting our local K9 officers is easier than you think! You can donate to help purchase equipment for K9 officers by contacting your local police department. Many departments work with a non-profit organization to collect needed donations to help their K9 officers. Officers also need places to train their dogs. If you are a property owner and would be willing to allow your local police department to use your property for a few hours, let them know! For more information on how you can support the Pearland Police Department’s K9 unit, check out Vested Interest in K9s at www.vik9s.com.