Tag: Cats

Let’s Talk Turkey!

Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family and holiday feasts—but also a time for possible distress for our animal companions. The days following Thanksgiving are always busy at the Clinic and our cages are always full of pets that overdid it! Pets (and their owners!) won’t be so thankful when they get an upset tummy and have to visit the vet!

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Check out the following tips for a fulfilling Thanksgiving that your pets can enjoy, too:

Keep the feast on the table—not under it: Eating turkey or turkey skin – sometimes even a small amount – can cause a life-threatening condition in pets known as pancreatitis. Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest, and many foods that are healthy for people are poisonous to pets – including onions, raisins and grapes. Do not give your pet the left over carcass–the bones are brittle and can be problematic for the digestive tract.

No Bread Dough: Don’t spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him access to raw yeast bread dough. When a dog or cat ingests raw bread dough, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. This can result in bloated drunken pets, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring hospitalization.

Don’t Let Them Eat Cake: If you plan to bake Thanksgiving desserts, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning. Many ingredients such as chocolate and raisins are toxic to pets.

A Feast Fit for a King: If you want to share a Thanksgiving treat with your pet, make or buy a treat that is made just for them. Offer them made-for-pets chew bones or a special can of food. Or stuff their usual dinner—perhaps with a few added tidbits of pet friendly foods such as vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans)—inside a food puzzle toy. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy.

Some other Holiday Tips:

Put the trash away!   A turkey carcass sitting out on the carving table, or left in a trash container that is open or easily opened, could be deadly to your family pet. Dispose of turkey carcasses and bones – and anything used to wrap or tie the meat, such as strings, bags and packaging – in a covered, tightly secured trash bag placed in a closed trash.

Be careful with decorative plants. Don’t forget that some flowers and festive plants can be toxic to pets. These include amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, Sweet William, some ferns, hydrangeas and more. The ASPCA offers lists of plants that are toxic to both dogs and cats (http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control) but the safest route is simply to keep your pets away from all plants and table decorations.

Visitors can upset your pets. Some pets are shy or excitable around new people or in crowds, and Thanksgiving often means many visitors at once and higher-than-usual noise and activity levels. If you know your dog or cat is nervous when people visit your home, put him/her in another room or a crate with a favorite toy. This will reduce the emotional stress on your pet and protect your guests from possible injury. If your pet is particularly upset by houseguests, talk to your veterinarian about possible solutions to this common problem.

And remember-  If you have an emergency with your pet on Thanksgiving, please contact one of the Animal Emergency Clinics:  Calder Rd: 281-332-1678 or Edgebrook: 713-941-8460.

 

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Evacuating Safely With Pets

By: Tara Sansing

Hurricane Season is here!  Are you prepared?! Evacuating in an emergency situation can be both chaotic and stressful.With experts anticipating this to be one of the most active storm seasons we have seen in several years, we want to encourage all of our clients to take a few minutes to make sure that they are prepared to travel safely with their pets.

Evacuation Checklist:

Make sure that you have the following items on hand in the event of a mandatory evacuation:

  1. Food and water- Make sure you have a large supply of food and water for you pet, preferably a whole month’s worth.
  2. Two forms of ID for your pet- Tags with current information, displayed on either a halter or collar, along with a microchip are highly recommended. It is also recommended that there is contact information on file at your microchip company for a friend who lives outside the affected area, so if your pet is found, contact can be made quickly even if your cell is out of power or other local disruptions exist.
  3. Pet carrier- Each pet needs his own carrier to keep him safe and secure, especially when traveling in closed quarters with other pets. Crates large enough to fit a litter box and bed are ideal for cats
  4. Medication- Don’t forget your pet’s prescription meds. Medications can sometime be critical to your pet’s health and can be hard to replace. We recommend at least a two-week supply. This includes all anxiety medications or sedatives that your pet might need while traveling.
  5. Vaccination records- In case you need to board your pet or use public transportation during the course of your evacuation, these may come in handy. It would be ideal to scan a basic health certificate and keep it online for easy access.
  6. Pet care basics– This includes the everyday items you’re likely to overlook, like food and water dishes, leashes, litterboxes, chew toys, etc.

Finding a Safe Place to Go

Evacuating with pets can be stressful & chaotic. Make sure you have everything you need!
Evacuating with pets can be stressful & chaotic. Make sure you are prepared!

Make sure that you have a safe place in mind for both you and your pets in the event of a storm. During a crisis, public disaster shelters and hotels may (or may not) allow pets. If possible, call ahead so you know if you must make other arrangements to avoid you and your pet being stranded in the face of an emergency. Please note that the clinic will not be open in the event of a mandatory evacuation and we will not have staff here to care for your pets.

Plan Ahead

Do not wait until the last minute to make sure that you have the supplies that you need for your pets in the event of evacuation. Local stores may run out of carriers or other essential items. Check your medicine cabinets and make sure that you have a reasonable supply of your pets medications so that you are not scrambling to get refills at the last minute. We want to make sure that all of our patients have what they need to evacuate safely.

As disaster approaches, bring all pets into the house so you won’t have to search for them if you need to leave quickly.

If you need any refills of medications, sedatives for travel or a copy of your pet’s vaccination records, contact the clinic at 281-282-9944.

Eeeew! Dog Breath!

By: Tara Sansing

Does your pet have bad breath? Bad breath isn’t just unpleasant, it can be unhealthy! That odor might signify a serious health risk, with the potential to damage not only your pet’s teeth and gums but their internal organs as well!

Nearly 85% of dogs and cats over the age of 3 are affected by periodontal disease. In fact, dental disease is one of the most common conditions seen by veterinarians.

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Have you looked in your pet’s mouth recently?

Periodontal disease begins when a combination of plaque, bacteria and food particles collect on the teeth and work their way up under the gum line. If left untreated, it can lead to the destruction of tissue and bone that anchor the teeth in place. Bacteria can also enter the bloodstream, affecting the heart, liver and kidneys.

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Don’t let the fear of anesthesia stop you from getting your pet’s teeth cleaned.

To thoroughly examine your pet’s teeth and gums, properly get rid of nasty plaque and tartar and really clean their pearly whites, they will need to be anesthetized. Though sedating your dog or cat seems scary, it’s not as bad as it sounds—in fact, the procedure has never been safer. Prior to sedation, the doctor will perform blood work that will check your pet’s basic body functions  and help us to determine whether or not your pet is healthy enough for sedation. Throughout the procedure, all pets are monitored closely by both a surgical technician and monitoring equipment.

Much like when we go to the dentist, the technician will scale and polish every tooth. Dental radiographs allow the doctor to see what is going on under the gum line and allows her to determine which teeth are damaged or unhealthy and need to be extracted.

When you think about it, the benefits of dental cleaning outweigh the possible risk of anesthesia. Not only will your pet’s breath smell better but her teeth will be shinier and healthier too! As an added bonus, maintaining healthy teeth and gums will help to protect your pet’s other organs, like the heart and kidneys from the damaging effects of dental disease.

Your pet has had their teeth cleaned, now what?

Imagine what would happen if you didn’t routinely care for your teeth in between professional dental cleanings. Pretty gross… right? Pets need dental care too!

toothbrushWe know how busy life can get and it can be hard to remember to care for your pet’s teeth on a daily basis but fortunately there are a large variety of products on the market today that aim for convenience as well as help prevent plaque and tartar buildup and combat bacteria in the mouth. Just like their owners, all pets should have a regular dental care regimen at home. Using one or a combination of these products on a regular basis will likely greatly reduce the amount of time needed between dental cleanings and will help to prevent periodontal disease.

Some of the many products available that support dental care and that we carry are:

Dental Diets- specially designed kibble promotes chewing/scraping of the teeth to create a brushing effect; special nutrients that break down plaque; high in omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that help to make it a complete and balanced diet for adult dogs and catsDentahex

DentaHex Chews– specially coated with chlorhexidine (an antibacterial agent) that combats bacteria in the mouth; chewing helps to scrape plaque on the teeth; freshens breath

Enzadent Toothpaste- specially designed to prevent plaque and tartar build up when used on a regular basis; comes in poultry and vanilla mint flavors

DentaClenz – a drinking water additive that combats bacteria in the pet’s mouth as well as in the water bowl; freshens breath and creates a barrier that helps to prevent plaque from adhering to the surface of the tooth.vetone-chlorazinc-rinse-8-oz-23

ChloraZinc Rinse-Antibacterial action and superior plaque prevention in a soothing, refreshing and palatable solution that quickly covers the entire mouth

Using one or a combination of these products on a regular basis will likely greatly reduce the amount of time needed between dental cleanings and will help to prevent periodontal disease.

 

Therapeutic Laser Therapy

-By Erin Fitzpatrick-Wacker

Microlight ML830
Microlight ML830

Many clinics have started a non-evasive therapy with cold lasers for a variety of medical conditions. At TLC Animal Hospital, we use the Microlight ML830®. This is a handheld, battery-operated device that emits a beam of light that travels in a straight line for a 33 second interval. The device is so low energy that it is known as a cold laser. It it non-harmful and uses photo-stimulation of the light reactive receptors of the body called chromophores, because the laser light is able to penetrate deeper than regular light. When stimulated, these chromophores accelerate the body’s defenses to repair and heal naturally. It has been proven through 30 years of FDA studies to increase collagen production, enhance nerve regeneration, increase vasodilation, reduce inflammation, increase cell metabolism, increase pain threshold, reduce edema, increase tissue and bone repair, increase lymphatic response, and increase cell membrane potential. Conditions approved for treatment include: acute shoulder lameness, bursitis, chronic renal failure, cruciate strain, cystitis, lipoma, alopecia, hot spots, lick granuloma, ligament repair, lumbar pain, otitis externa, operative incision treatment, pain management, post ear crop surgery, post cruciate repair, post declaw, pyoderma, sinusitis, tendonitis, ulcerations, and wounds. It is reported that 75-80% of pets being treated are able to notice an immediate improvement of their condition.

Laser therapy has been proven to reduce inflammation associated with acute and chronic conditions.
Laser therapy has been proven to reduce inflammation associated with acute and chronic conditions.

At TLC Animal Hospital, we often use therapeutic laser therapy for control of severe osteoarthritis, to help ease their pain through reduction of inflammation and increase their pain threshold. We also use it for recovering surgery patients to reduce swelling, inflammation, and promote faster healing by increasing the blood flow at the incision sites. Therapy is very passive, does not require any pulses or shocks, and does not emit any heat, just a beam of light, so the patient feels no discomfort. In general, the longer the condition has persisted, the more sessions are required for a noted response to be seen. Sessions for osteoarthritis are offered at our clinic daily, usually last about 30 minutes to an hour, and are administered by a certified technician. Each session is tailored to the particular need of the animal receiving the therapy.

Feel free to speak with the receptionists today to schedule your appointment.

For more information, visit: http://myml830.com

Holiday Hazards

The holidays are a joyous occasion, and often people include pets in festivities. Unfortunately, the holidays can often create hazardous situations for pets and the number pet poison cases increases this time of year. To keep your pet safe, Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) Toxicology Section Head Tam Garland, DVM, PhD, suggests keeping an eye on the following:Santa Dog

 Lethal food combinations: Maintaining a pet on their normal food is always a good idea. Some foods, such as chocolate, may be poisonous to the pet. Feeding scraps may encourage inappropriate behavior such as begging. Changes in diet, such as table scraps can cause diarrhea or vomiting and thus make a holiday celebration less pleasant for all concerned.

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which can be toxic to pets; vomiting, diarrhea, heart problems and death can occur if ingested. If your pet should get into chocolates, please call your veterinarian or a veterinary emergency hospital as soon as possible. Be prepared to tell them what your pet weighs, and how much of what type of chocolate the pet ingested.

Baking chocolates and dark chocolates are more dangerous than white chocolate. Some pets can ingest a small amount of chocolate and be fine, other pets may develop vomiting, diarrhea, nervousness, hyperactivity, bloat and possibly death. Chocolates of any kind should not be given to pets. This includes things like chocolate chip cookies, chocolate covered peppermint patties, and other holiday foods and treats.

Caffeine is found in many soft drinks and special holiday drinks, such as sweetened chocolate or coffee. These should not be given to pets.

Fruit Cakes may contain rum or other alcohol. Alcohol poisoning is very dangerous to pets, causing a drop in body temperature, blood sugar and blood pressure. Rising bread dough can cause obstruction if ingested. The yeast can also result in alcohol poisoning in pets. Please keep bread dough, fruit cakes, rum raisin cookies and holiday treats of this sort well out of reach of pets. Reminding guests to refrain from sharing human food with your pets is always acceptable.

Food products used in ornaments: Homemade ornaments, especially those made of play dough-type material or other salt-based products or food, can be extremely toxic to pets. The salt or play dough ornaments appeal to pets as a tasty treat because of the salt. However, an ingestion of a salt-based ornament can cause an animal’s death. Animals ingesting these types of ornaments need to be treated by a veterinarian for salt poisoning.

Pets do not often take a bite out of glass ornaments but it has been known to occur. Pets can step on and break glass ornaments as well. Cuts to the mouth or pads of the foot may be painful and need a veterinarian’s attention to remove the glass and close the wound depending upon the severity of the cut.

Holiday Hazards: Candles should not be placed where a pet could knock them over. Remember, cats often jump up and knock items off of a shelf or mantle, especially if it is in a location they are accustomed to occupying. A dancing flame can be interesting to felines who have been known to swipe at the flame. Burns may occur but fires may be a bigger danger in the home.

Plants: Poinsettia plants and Christmas cactus are often considered the must-havekitten Christmas plants of the season and can cause adverse reactions in pets. Animals that ingest these plants may experience gastric distress, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Generally this is self-limiting. The pet will often overcome this irritation within 24-48 hours. Provide small amounts of water but offer no food until the vomiting has stopped; this may help settle the stomach. It is always wise to consult your veterinarian anytime your pet has an upset stomach.

Tinsel decorating a Christmas tree or wreath is shiny, lightweight and moves very easily, enticing playful cats. Ingested tinsel can lodge or anchor in the stomach, inhibiting passage through the intestines. It can also wrap around the base of the tongue and cause serious injury and impede the ability to eat or drink. Tinsel can actually cut tissue as the intestines contract. Yarn can behave in a similar fashion. Both tinsel and yarn represent special hazards to felines.

Holiday Perfumes: Holidays are often filled with guests and the desire to perfume the home. Liquid potpourris may be the choice for the perfume but can contain essential oils and cationic detergents which if consumed can cause chemical burns to the mouth, difficulty breathing, tremors and fever. Dogs may be affected but are not quite as sensitive to these chemicals as cats. Potpourris, whether liquid or dry, should be kept well out of the reach of pets.

Watch for any signs of distress or changes in your pet’s behavior during this holiday season. An owner’s awareness of possibly harmful decorations and foods is the most effective way to reduce pet toxicity over the holiday. Following these simple guidelines will help make the holidays fun and safe for you and your pet(s)!