Volume 6 – Issue 3

Quarterly Prints (Summer) 2017

What’s new at Claws & Paws?

With this edition of Quarterly Prints, we have a few new staff members and externs. Our newest High School Intern, Sara Rodrigues and newest Kennel Technician, Austin Larney. You can read more about them and all the other staff by visiting the Staff Page of our website at CPVH.com/Staff. We have updated our Mobile App, so if you haven’t downloaded it, or haven’t used it in a while, we encourage you to do so. You can download it for FREE at CPVH.com/Mobile. If you haven’t heard, we are celebrating 20-Years in Pearland with an Open House in October. Make sure you Save The Date and be sure to come by and celebrate with us on Saturday, October 14th.

We have also started a new Video Series titled On The Job, featuring the different departments within the Claws & Paws team. Our first installment features our Technician Team and we will soon be releasing the Receptionist and Support Teams. We may incorporate Doctors as well. Remember to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to be notified when new videos are posted.

Canine Influenza

by Stephanie Harnish

There are currently two strains of canine influenza virus in the US: H3N8 and H3N2. The H3N8 strain was first identified in 2004 and the H3N2 strain was identified in 2015. The virus occurs year round and is highly contagious and easily spread by direct contact, nasal secretions and contaminated items. It can also be spread by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs. So far, the virus has not been shown to affect people, although the H3N2 strain has been found in cats.

Typical symptoms include a persistent cough, nasal discharge, fever, lethargy, eye discharge and reduced appetite. Since these symptoms are also common in canine infectious tracheobronchitis (also known as kennel cough), there is a laboratory test that can diagnose both strains of the influenza virus. Most dogs typically recover within a few weeks. However, as usual with most illnesses, there is always the potential for secondary bacterial infections. Although there have been deaths from pneumonia as a result of influenza infection, the current fatality rate is fairly low (less than 10%).

Treatment for the canine influenza virus is mostly supportive care and depends on the severity of the symptoms. If a secondary bacterial infection is present, antibiotics may be prescribed. Anti-inflammatories may be used to decrease fevers or pain. If the pet is severely dehydrated, hospitalization with IV fluids may be required.

There are vaccinations available for both strains of the influenza virus. The newest vaccine covers both the H3N8 and the H3N2 strains and is good for one year. However, dogs receiving the vaccine for the first time will receive the initial vaccine and then a booster 2-3 weeks later. The vaccine is recommended for any dogs that are boarded at a boarding facility, visit dog parks, or attend social events with dogs present (ie. Dog shows, agility competitions, hunting/field trials).

Practicing good hygiene and sanitation can help reduce the spread of the canine influenza virus. Commonly used disinfectants have been shown to inactivate or kill influenza viruses. Handwashing is also good practice. If you have any questions or concerns about canine influenza virus, please contact us at 281.997.1426.

The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

by Amanda Hillhouse

Did you know that one in three pets will get lost in their lifetime? This can be a very scary thought for pet parents. Most of us have at least heard about microchipping our pets. The chip is smaller than a grain of rice and can be applied without sedation. If someone finds your baby, they can then take them to the closest shelter or veterinary clinic to be scanned for microchip information. This information enables them to contact you and reunite your fur family. As you can tell, microchipping is a wonderful option for pet identification, but microchipping application alone is not enough.

Whenever we scan a pet for a microchip, and they have one in place, we are provided with the microchip number. We then take this number and look it up in a national microchip database that will tell us what company it is registered with. We can then contact the registry company, provide them with the microchip number, and they will give us the owner’s information or contact the owners themselves.

Too often, we have lost babies come in to the clinic to scan for a microchip and it has not been registered. This means a microchip has been applied, we can identify the microchip number, but no owner information has been “attached” to the microchip. This means we cannot reach out to their owner to reunite them. When your pet receives a microchip it is very important that you register it with an online registry company. This may seem like a difficult process but it is actually very simple. Once your pet has been microchipped, your veterinarian will supply you with the microchip number, and oftentimes with a tag and/or labels that can be placed on their records. When you have that number you can then go online and register the number with ANY microchip company, it does not have to be the one associated with your microchip. Although to cut down on confusion you may wish to. There are even free registries that you can find online. Once registered it is important to update your information annually, or any time that you move or change your telephone number.

Getting your pet microchipped is your best bet to be reunited with your pet in the event of them getting lost or stolen. Collars and tags can easily be removed or misplaced. In one study conducted in shelters across the U.S., only 22% of un-microchipped pets reunite with their owners versus 58% of microchipped pets. Something as simple as a gate being left open, or a thunderstorm can cause your pet to become lost. Help ensure your pet has the best chance at making it home, get them microchipped and get it registered as soon as you can! Or if your pet is already microchipped make certain that it is in fact registered.

Boarding Loyalty Program

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.

Help! My Cat Can’t Pee!

by Julie Wickel, DVM

We’ve all seen our cats in the litter box in their usual position. They do their business, cover it up, and then they’re out of there. We clean it up, and the cycle starts again. However, what if your cat is in the litter box all of the time and you don’t see any urine? This can be a common problem in male cats.

The urethra is a tube, think of a water hose carrying urine, that progressively narrows as it leaves the bladder and ends at the tip of the penis. When the urethra gets blocked, your cat cannot urinate. This can quickly become an emergency in as little as 24 hours. There can be several causes for a “blocked cat”: crystals, mucus, and protein causing a mucus plug, bladder stones, spasm of the urethra, stricture of the urethra due to previous trauma, and other obstructions such as those caused by tumors. The mucus plug is the most common reason for a male cat being unable to urinate. Because the urethra is shorter in females, the opening is wider, making it nearly impossible for female cats to block.

Cats that are blocked often show the following early signs:

  • Frequent straining in the litter box with nothing to show for their effort
  • Crying or yowling as if they are in pain
  • Licking at their privates
  • Painful when you touch their abdomen
  • Hiding

If the blockage continues, more severe signs can occur, such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness/lethargy
  • Death due to kidney and/or heart failure because of toxins absorbed into the blood stream

If you think it is possible that your cat may be blocked, you need to take him to your veterinarian, or the emergency clinic, right away. After an examination determines that your cat is blocked the following is typically done: blood tests to check the kidneys, sedation, catheterization of the urethra to ensure flow of urine, fluids and hospitalization. Sometimes an EKG and abdominal x-rays may also be performed. After your cat is unblocked, he will spend several days in the hospital receiving the continued care that he needs.

When he goes home, he will need to stay on a prescription diet (canned and dry food) for the rest of his life. This diet manipulates minerals, adds salt to stimulate water intake, and manipulates pH in order to prevent crystal/stone formation. Other recommendations are to increase his water intake.

Sometimes cats will reblock even when on the special diet. If this continues, then a surgical procedure is performed to widen the size of the urethra. Please do not hesitate to call and talk with one of our friendly staff members should you have any questions on this topic.

If you, or someone you know, lives alone, and has pets, please stop by and get a free card (pictured here) to carry in your wallet.

Photos Wanted Now

For a Project for Our Open House in October

By now you’ve probably heard that it has been 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. Please include pet’s name and age with your email.

Leave Him Home

  • Pledge that you will #LeaveHimHome.
  • Take a picture of yourself with your pet, while holding a sign.
  • 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 in Texas.
  • Share your photo on your own Social Media sites using the hashtags #LeaveHimHome and #ClawsAndPawsVet so we can capture these.
  • Please, share on our Social Media sites as well. You can access them all at CPVH.com/Social.

We have created a page on our website at LeaveHimHome.com 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 you are committed to this project, stop by the clinic and pick up a sticker to proudly display on your vehicle letting everyone know you are going to #LeaveHimHome. And please use the Hashtag #LeaveHimHome when posting to all Social Media.

Remember to download our Free Mobile App. Available in both Android and Apple format. Visit our website at CPVH.com/Mobile to download.

We have Claws & Paws Apparel now. Visit CPVH.com/Apparel to see a sample of items available. You can order on line though our interactive store and have your item(s) shipped directly to your home. We have a nice selection of staff-designed items, including Claws & Paws, boarding, patriotic, breed-specific items and the one pictured. Take a moment to view our selection. We think we have something you’ll like.