Volume 4 – Issue 4
What’s New at CPVH?
Join us at the clinic on Halloween morning for free pie courtesy of Forgotten Angels and goodies for your pets. Be sure you and your pet wear your best Halloween Costume.
“Santa Clawd” is Coming…look for him this Holiday Season. You can follow us on social media to watch some short videos that could perhaps give you a hint as to where Santa Clawd may be hiding out of site of the children.
Join us on Saturday, December 5th at the Hometown Christmas Parade, where we are once again a very proud sponsor!
Keep Your Pet Safe on Halloween
by: Kristen Hicks
The holidays can be a very exciting time of the year for many. Most people probably don’t stop to consider the dangers associated with all of the festivities. One holiday that may not come to mind as dangerous is Halloween.
Anxiety can pose a threat to both our canine and feline friends. Please be sure to securely confine all animals in your home so they feel safe and comfortable. The constant ringing of the doorbell and opening of the door could become very stressful for them. Make sure all pets have proper identification on, in case of an accidental escape.
Also, most people are aware of the danger of chocolate toxicity in animals, but you should be aware of all candy. Xylitol is a sweetener found in many sugar free gums and candies. While it is unknown if it causes a reaction in cats, it can make a dog very sick and can even cause death in some cases. Please keep all candy put away and out of your pet’s reach. If you suspect your pet has ingested anything, please call your veterinarian’s office of the Pet Poison Helpline immediately.
While dressing up may be the best part of the holiday, you should always keep in mind that pets are attracted to small items such as sequins, feathers and strings. Please keep these items away from your pets to prevent an unwanted blockage. If you think that your pet may have ingested something, monitor for vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy and call your veterinarian’s office immediately. Also, if you chose to dress your dog up, make sure nothing on the costume is too tight or have any loose strings that the pet can chew on.
All Halloween decorations should be kept high and out of reach. Be careful when using real candles as cants are very curious and may want to play with them. While pumpkin doesn’t usually cause toxicity in pets, you should not allow your pets to eat them as they can cause stomach upset from sitting outside and growing bacteria.
Please take all necessary precautions for the holiday so you and your furry friends can enjoy it!
Holiday Hazards for Pets
by: Julie Wickel, DVM
Holidays are a wonderful time of the year. Family and friends gather to celebrate, eat, spend time with each other, eat, give gifts, and … well, you get the picture … eat.
Certain precautions need to be taken with our four-legged family members. Both foods, certain plants and even decorations can be a health hazard for our pets.
Chocolate—Chocolate is toxic for pets. It contains a substance that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, heart issues, and even death. Baking chocolate is the most toxic, followed by semi-sweet, dark, and milk chocolate. Even small, bite-sized candy bars or just a handful of M&Ms can be dangerous.
Do you like fruit cake? What about those appetizers? Raisins and grapes can cause problems with the kidneys.
Foods that are too rich, fatty or spicy can upset your pet’s stomach and intestines. It can also potentially cause a severe case of pancreatitis which can be fatal.
Onion and garlic can cause damage to the red blood cells in dogs and cats. So, keep that onion dip out of your pet’s reach.
Macadamia nuts—These can cause problems in dogs such as weakness, depression, vomiting, an unsteady stance or gait, tremors, and increased body temperature.
Avocados are deadly to birds.
Do you like to bake? Ingestion of raw yeast dough can be life-threatening to dogs and cats. Signs include severe pain in the abdomen, bloating, vomiting, lack of coordination, and depression.
Xylitol—This is a sugar alternative often found in chewing gum, sugar-free candy, baked goods, etc. It has been associated with liver problems in dogs.
Alcohol—Animals can get alcohol poisoning just like people can.
Mistletoe is very toxic and can even be fatal to pets.
Holly causes vomiting and diarrhea. If a large amount is ingested, it can be fatal.
Lilies are potentially fatal to cats as they can cause acute kidney failure. Even the pollen from lilies can be hazardous to cats and kittens.
Poinsettias cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Amaryllis bulbs are also toxic.
Decorations and gifts:
Tinsel, ribbon and string are dangerous to pets. Cats seem to be especially attracted to these objects. If swallowed, they can potentially need surgery and even be fatal. Common signs are vomiting, difficulty defecating, not eating, and lethargy. If you see a piece of string or ribbon coming out of your pet’s rectum, do not pull on it. Instead, get your pet to the veterinarian right away.
Christmas trees—The water at the base of the tree can contain substances that can cause stomach problems. Light strings are no good for chewing and the tree can even fall down on the pet.
Ornaments and Toys—Small parts or toys can be eaten by dogs and cats and potentially cause blockage in the stomach or intestines. This can be life-threatening. Many times emergency surgery is needed.
Many people do not realize the dangers of feeding tidbits (“after all, it’s only a small amount”) to your pets. Make them aware of the dangers and caution them not to put their plates where your pets can reach them.
For overnight guests, make sure that they keep their medications put away and out of reach of your pet.
If you see that your pet has been exposed to, or ingested, any of the above food, medication, objects or plants, the best thing you can do for your pet is to take him to the veterinarian right away. Quick action can often eliminate the need for invasive or extreme treatments/surgeries and save your pet’s life.
As many of you know, Claws & Paws Veterinary Hospital® upgraded our Veterinary Practice Management Software at the end of July, 2015. We have been using the same software for the past 15 plus years and with this change, we are now much more current with our technology.
We have gone through this process in order to provide better service for you, our client. There are a number of new features that come with this change, some of which will not be visible to you, but some you will see. This change helps us move to a paperless, or at least a “less paper” environment. We are able to better track our interactions with you and your pet, and provide some streamlined services. This new system communicates well with all our peripheral devices, such as our in-house laboratory equipment as well as our outside laboratory facility, resulting in more accurate tracking.
Our radiology and ultrasound equipment also integrates with the system, allowing your pet’s diagnostic imagery to be attached to your pet’s record, which will allow quicker access and keeps all information at the touch of a button. Well, the click of a mouse. We are able to email you any information more easily from our system, such as estimates, invoices, lab results, complete patient history, etc. with a couple of clicks of the mouse. We often have clients sign consent forms for surgery, dentals, etc. With this change in software, you are now able to sign some of these documents electronically. Much like you would sign a document or credit card transactions at your local bank or grocery store.
We are also able to send reminders to you, regarding your pet’s medical needs more easily and you will receive it quicker through email. As a result, we will no longer be sending out reminders through the U.S. Postal Service as of January 1, 2016. Some have been receiving duplicate reminders, through email and post cards, and this should stop in the coming months.
As a result of this, we would like to ask that you provide us with your email address so that you can continue to receive these important reminders. Please let us know the next time you are in so we can update your information, or better yet, you can complete this short form, and we’ll update your information before your next visit.
We know that many have the concern of spam messages, and the idea of receiving junk email, or you email address being shared with someone else can make your skin crawl. Trust us, we know the feeling and we would never trade, sell or share your email address with anyone. We don’t want that in our own email, so we won’t do that to you. Your email address will be kept confidential and will only be used for communication from us to you. Once your email address is on file with us, you will receive an email from ePetHealth to create a password for a free online account. By creating this account, you will be able to access your pet’s records, request medication refills, appointments, etc. 24/7! So, if you want to take your pet to the groomer or to a boarding facility last minute, and you don’t have a copy of your pet’s vaccination records, simply log in to your account and access all of your pet’s vaccination records. You can also print off an identification card for your pet that you may keep in your wallet that shows your pet’s vaccination dates. You can even add a photo of your pet(s) to be included on his/her ID Card.
Importance of Year Round Heartworm Prevention
by: Meghan Harris, DVM
As many of you may or may not be aware, Heartworm disease is fairly prevalent here in Texas. It is a potentially fatal disease that is spread to dogs and cats via mosquitoes. The good news? It is completely preventable with heartworm prevention, usually in the form of a monthly pill. But did you know that your pet is still at risk for contracting the disease in fall and winter months. There is sometimes a false perception that because we see less mosquitoes during that time, that the risk of your pet getting heartworms is not present. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. We see heartworms year round, especially here in Texas; and more specifically, we are diagnosing it at Claws and Paws. Additionally, mosquitoes routinely travel inside our homes to escape the elements and in search of a blood meal. Therefore, even indoor animals or pets that only go outside to use the restroom are still at risk. And here’s another alarming fact: One heartworm positive dog in the neighborhood (this can be someone’s pet or a stray) will result in 74% of the mosquitoes having infected heartworm larvae. This means that your pet, if not on heartworm prevention, is at an even greater risk.
As previously mentioned, heartworm disease can be a fatal disease, in which adult worms measuring up to 14 inches long can lodge in the heart and major blood vessels. This can cause irreversible changes to the heart muscle, as well as damaging your pet’s lungs causing a cough or shortness of breath on walks, etc. In untreated cases, congestive heart failure can result in fluid accumulation in the pet’s abdomen. Heartworm disease can be treated, but it does carry an expense that far outweighs the cost of keeping your pet on prevention. Not to mention the potentially long-term effects on your pet’s heart muscle. For an average 40 pound dog, it would cost as low as $10.50 per month to keep him or her protected, depending on the product chosen. Alternatively, if the same pet were to become infected with heartworms, the cost to eradicate them would be $850-900. That’s equal to roughly 7 years of protection!
Here at Claws & Paws, we want to make it easy and convenient for your pet to get their heartworm prevention monthly. That is why we’ve implemented several features with our website to facilitate this. You can order your refills on our website or by downloading our free mobile app. Additionally, if ordered via our online store, your heartworm prevention can be mailed directly to your door, without having to make a trip to our hospital. Another great feature that seems to be helpful to many of our clients, are our text reminders. Once signed up, we will send you a monthly reminder to give your pet his or her prevention. It’s that easy!
My name is Nancy, and I am a cat like you, except I bark, respond when called, and poop outside, usually. My sister Reagan was having trouble getting up and we brought her to your office, in December. After a few visits, my sister passed away in one of your offices and my human cried and held her is his arms.
My human and I still miss her very much. When that guy in the truck comes to my house every day with those papers, I still bark (I mean meow) at him, but I’m not really sure why. When I go outside in the evenings, I still run around the back yard looking for those tree rats, but it just is not as much fun without my sister. I always know when my human is missing her, because he walks by her necklace that hangs on the wall, says “Hey Rey” and makes her tags make that same noise mine does.
My human and I have a great life, we go to that park with all the other cats that bark, we go to Dairy Queen for that scoop of that white stuff that is super cold, and we snuggle all the time.
My question is this: How can I stop missing my sister so much, and how can I help my human feel better also?
Thank you for listening to my story and my question, even though you might tell from the picture, Reagan and I are really BIG cats.
Dear Still Sad,
I have ”worked” here at Claws & Paws for several years now and I have seen a lot of strange things. One of the most unusual is the willingness of humans to put themselves through such emotional pain for the companionship of a special pet. I see owners say final goodbyes to loved cats and dogs regularly. I see them struggle with the decision to help end their faithful companion’s suffering. I see the pain, sorrow, and grief of saying farewell to a piece of their heart. I have seen doctors and staff mourn together the loss of patients diligently cared for and sincerely loved. And I have seen these same people return with yet another puppy or kitten in hand, ready and grateful to surrender their heart to a furry face once more knowing that they will eventually face this pain again.
When we connect with a human in the way that your Raegan did with your owner; the loss is forever felt. It is a matter of being able to remember with smiles, what we once could only remember through tears. My advice; be there as you already do for your owner. Be a gentle spirit, a good listener, a hilarious jokester, a devoted companion. These things take time. Don’t rush it. He’ll pull through. You’ll pull through. You have each other. And remember; the best therapists have four legs and a tail!
My owner and I had it made. We once shared a home, just he and I. We shared a large, luxurious bed every night. We snuggled on the couch, shared bits of food, and spent long hours in silence. It was heavenly. That is until, SHE came into the picture. Now SHE shares the couch, the snacks, the bed, and it hasn’t been silent in this house in months. I thought it was a phase, but I have to assume this is the new normal for me. The worst part is that she brought two drooling mongrels, they call “dogs”, in this house and in OUR bed! Where exactly am I supposed to sleep??!! There are two humans, and two dogs, in addition to moi, trying to seek nightly refuge in our bed. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Help!
Exhausted in Pearland
You poor thing! This is completely unacceptable. This is YOUR home, your oasis of kitty welfare, and you alone should be in charge of who is allowed in!
My advice? Declare war! I assume you’ve already left a proper indication of your discontentment by urinating on the new lady’s stuff, correct? If not, let’s start there. Guys are not smart when they are blinded by love; he may not even be aware of your obvious disapproval. If you have already exhausted this avenue; let’s not waste any more time and move right along to the big artillery. It’s time to start framing the dogs. It will be quite a bit of work, but the payoff will be well worth the effort. The idea here is to convince the humans that it is rather undesirable to allow the dogs in the bed. Initially, I suggest chewing things. This is generally considered dog domain and owners won’t likely suspect you first. Chew blankets, pillows, pjs, etc. Anything in the bed and available overnight will work nicely. Be sure to leave lots of drool on any chewed items to keep from arousing any suspicion. Next; breathe….in your owner’s face. You’ll need to get some foul breath first; you could lick your owner’s shoes or chew on some trash to get the desired effect. It may cause some gassiness, but this could be a bonus! Remember, we’re going for dog stench here – the stinkier the better! Be sure to jump off the bed, leaving only the dogs, as your owner stirs from sleep after smelling such a noxious odor. Finally, snore…..loudly. You’ll need to practice this one on your own first. (My pal tried this cold and it ended up sounding like a Chewbacca had broken into the house). Once you have it down, convince your owner that the dogs (and maybe his new wife) are too loud for a decent night’s sleep. It may take a few nights in a row; but trust me, it will work! You’ll be sprawled out on that plush mattress in no time!
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