SERVING LONGVIEW & SURROUNDING AREAS
FOR OVER 475 DOG YEARS!

2500 Estes Parkway, Longview, TX
Call Today! 903-758-2082

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In this day and age we take steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones through health insurance and life insurance when unexpected events happen. It is likely that you are familiar with the benefits of having insurance. However, have you ever considered getting insurance for your pet? Here is some general information about pet insurance and how it can help the furry members of your family.

Pet Insurance

What is Pet Insurance?

Similar to human health insurance, pet insurance helps you pay veterinary bills if your pet becomes injured or needs surgery. In some cases, the insurance company has a reimbursement plan for recurrent treatment such as vaccinations, heartworm tests and other wellness procedures.

What Pets are Covered Through Pet Insurance?

Because dogs and cats are the most common pets owned by families and individuals, the majority of pet insurance plans only cover cats and dogs. Nationwide is a company that covers other animals – you can learn more at their website here.

Why Should You Get Pet Insurance?

When you bring home your pet from the pet store, a breeder or an animal shelter, they quickly steal your heart and become a member of your family. One of the main reasons why you should get pet insurance is that it can reimburse or pay for veterinary bills when accidents or injuries occur. Having pet insurance or another backup credit program protects pet owners from having to delay care due to the costs of veterinary expenses.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

Depending on which plan you use, your insurance company can cover most of your pet’s veterinary bills. There are basic plans that cover things like deworming, microchipping, heartworm and parasite prevention, wellness exams and vaccinations. There are also more comprehensive plans that cover more extensive needs, chronic conditions, etc. – things such as poisonings, sprains, ear infections, diarrhea, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, allergies, blood tests, ultrasounds, hereditary conditions, surgeries, chemotherapy, vaccinations, spay/neuter and so much more.

What Fees are Associated with Pet Insurance?

Like normal health insurance plans, pet plans have fees like premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. The amount of these fees depends on which company you decide to go with for pet insurance and each of their specific plans. For example, some insurance companies require you to pay deductibles per incident whereas others have you pay deductibles annually.

When Should You Not Use Pet Insurance?

Before you choose which pet health insurance plan you want to go with, you need to know when you should not use your pet’s health insurance. Most health plans do not cover holistic treatments such as acupuncture or pre-existing conditions. They also do not cover behavior training classes and schools. Most plans do not cover continuing care like grooming and dental cleanings. In some cases, you can get a pet insurance plan that does cover holistic treatments and dental cleanings, but that will typically only be provided at an additional cost.

What Factors Affect the Price of Insurance Plans?

The main aspects about your pet that affect the price of your plans is the species, age and breed of your pet. Dogs usually cost more to insure than cats and other animals. It is also important to consider that purebred dogs will cost more to insure because they are notorious for having more health issues. Other factors insurance companies consider is your location, the type of coverage you selected and the reimbursement level.

Here at Longview Animal Hospital, we do everything we can to make it easier on you to pay for the care your pet deserves. If you are not currently in a position to pay for pet insurance, we have alternatives to recommend for you. We offer a care card through CareCredit. CareCredit offers a variety of different financing options for your pet care needs. You can view details at their website and apply online. After you apply, you find out instantly if you are approved and you can access the funds the very same day. Another option we recommend is Scratchpay. Scratchpay offers affordable payment plans for veterinary bills. We understand that pets are members of your family too, so take the time to give your pet protection throughout its life. If you have any further questions about pet insurance or some of the financing options mentioned here, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team is happy to assist you!

If you are the owner of a pet that gets scared during thunderstorms and other loud noises, then you know how difficult it can be. Watching (and listening to) your dog or cat as they try to deal with the noises from outside can be heart-wrenching. If you’ve struggled with how to help your pet cope with loud, stress-inducing events such as storms, the good news is there are things you can do both in the short-term as well as the long.

But first, let’s talk about what not to do.

Do Not Punish Your Pet

When our pets make loud noises, barks, whines, scratches at furniture or acts out their stress in any of a hundred other ways, it’s easy to get frustrated. We might yell at them to be quiet or send them to a crate. This is not an effective solution. The last thing you want to do is add to the fear or anxiety through negative reinforcement.

Rather than getting your pet to calm down, punishment can result in making him or her more anxious, because now there are two things to be scared of — the noise, and your response.

Do Not Baby Your Pet

The opposite reaction is just as bad. When a pet acts out due to fear, many owners’ first instinct is to try and calm him or her down through treats and petting. Many experts say this is the wrong approach, because it trains our pets that if they act out in that manner, they will end up being rewarded. Rather than stopping this behavior, it only acts as a reinforcement.

Instead, here are some things you can do:

Train Your Pet to Feel Safe

Most animals have a “safe” spot where they feel most comfortable. When noises outside begin, at the first sign of distress, train your pet to go to his or her “safe” spot. This could be a bed, a crate or next to you on the sofa.

Note: Sending your pet to a crate is okay in this instance, as long as it is seen as not being a punishment, but instead as a way to make your pet feel safe. Keep the door open for an easy escape, should it be required.

Act Normally

You’ll notice that both of the negative responses above are wrong because they present scenarios where the owner reacts differently from the norm. This strange action (whether it’s angry or loving) can confuse the pet and reinforce the concept that something strange is going on. Instead, act as normally as you can. Don’t change your tone of voice or the way you act towards or around your pet. Teach your pet that everything is normal and as it should be — that will often help to calm them down as they will look to you for cues.

Distract With Games

Rather than showering your pet with treats, give him or her some quality positive time by playing. Playing is a fun activity that all owners should be doing with their pet anyway, and the act of play can not only make the pet happy, but make it completely forget about the perceived apocalypse happening right outside those windows.

Try a Thundershirt

You’ve probably seen these products in the store — Thundershirts. They’re tight shirts that are made to squeeze the pet ever so slightly. They aren’t tight enough to be uncomfortable or dangerous, but they are tight enough to give the feeling of being wrapped in a tight hug. This is a very calming sensation for most animals, and over 75% of owners who have tried the Thundershirt report having positive effects. Think about it — doesn’t it feel good to have a warm, heavy blanket pressing down on your legs? It’s the same thing, but specifically for pets.

Try Natural Herb Remedies

If you are looking to try soothing through natural means, there are a variety of natural herbs and supplements out there that are meant for treating pet anxiety. Natural herbs and supplements include melatonin, which helps pets stay calm and even sleep, L-tryptophan, which can help with calming effects, and Zylkene, which is sources from milk proteins. These supplements are used often and seen as safe, although of course you’ll want to speak with our team at Longview Animal Hospital before starting any kind of treatment whether natural or prescription.

Use Medication

Finally, there are a variety of medicines that are available to help calm your pets, from Fluoxetine to Clomacalm. These should not be taken lightly, however, as all medications can have potential side effects, but when they work right they can significantly improve your life and (more importantly) the life of your fur-ever friend. If you are looking to treat anxiety issues for your cat, take a look at our Happy Cat Kit – it might be just the thing to help you.

If you have questions about any of the suggestions mentioned here, please don’t’ hesitate to contact us at Longview Animal Hospital! Our team is happy to discuss these issues with you and provide guidance on what you can do.

The team at Longview Animal Hospital is working hard to help you care for your pet during these uncertain times. We understand you may find yourself in a situation where your pet needs care and you are unable to leave the house. We are pleased to share that due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the restrictions normally in place for Telemedicine have been temporarily removed.  What that means for you is that we can see your pet virtually without you having to leave your home.  We can share pictures, talk via FaceTime, etc. to get you the care your fur baby needs.  Call us at 903-758-2082 or email us at longviewanimalhospital@gmail.com for details.

Spring is here, so we expect that many of our friends and clients will be heading out to do some lawn and garden work. If you have pets, you might find this article helpful!

Your home should be a sanctuary. It should be a place that is clean, safe and healthy for you, your family, your pets and any guests that you welcome into your home. Your lawn and garden is an extension of your home and how you maintain it can reflect your values. Most people use chemicals that might make your lawn look pretty in the short term, but those chemicals could harm your health and the environment overall in the long term. In many cases (not all) there are some easy non-toxic alternatives that can be used in place of these when caring for your lawn and garden.

1. Garlic Insecticide

You have a great ingredient for your lawn and garden right in your pantry. Combine a bulb of garlic with some water in a blender. Blend the two ingredients and then have it sit for one day. Strain out the pulp and then combine the concentrated garlic water with another gallon of water. Place the garlic water in a spray bottle and then spray your garden. The garlic aroma will keep insects that aren’t supposed to be there out of the area. Spray about once a week to keep your garden an insect free zone.

2. Lilacs and Shrubs for Soil Stabilization

If you’re looking for soil stabilization in and area that seems to be hit hard when you have rain, look to shrubs like lilacs. They make effective screens for privacy, provide nesting space for birds and help prevent erosion.

3. Aeration

This one requires at rip to your local hardware or lawn care store: You can rent a device (called a Spike Aerator) that will gently dig into your lawn to create small holes so that fresh air and water can easily get to soil. This eliminates the need for buying a chemical that will artificially stimulate growth. This only needs to be done a few times in a year, so it’s often worth the time and rental money. You can also find push model versions or a hand held “lawn spike”.

4. Composting

Consider starting a compost pile to help naturally fertilize the soil in your garden. Therefore nothing that you use in your house goes to waste. One big one is using used up coffee grounds. All you need to do is sprinkle the coffee all over the soil of your garden. You can also use tea leaves if you don’t drink coffee, nut shells, old fruits and vegetables, wood chips and grass trimmings that weren’t treated with chemicals earlier. Be careful about what you choose to use to compost. Things that you should avoid is rotting meat, rotting dairy such as rancid butter, waste from pets, oils, lards and yard trimmings that were already treated with chemicals. If you’re not smart about what you compost, it can backfire and attract pests, insects and overall hinder the health of your garden. For pet safety, make sure you have your compost pile contained so that animals are less likely to get into it.

5. Boiling Water for Weeds and Pest Insects

There are times when you definitely need commercial insect control, but for other instances, you can use hot water (make sure to exercise caution and wear protective clothing to prevent any burns from splashing). Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Gently pour the hot water it over areas where you may have problems with insects. You can use it to take care of ant hills and even use it to kill off weeds. Pull the weeds out first as much as you can and then pour the water into the hole in the ground to kill off the seeds that may be left behind.

Treating your lawn and garden with non-toxic chemicals makes all the difference. Not only is it easier on the air you breathe and the fruits or vegetables you pick from your garden, but it’ll also be better for your pets. Exposing your pets to harsh chemicals can take a toll on their health, especially if you have active pets who like going outside. Pesticides, insecticides and chemical fertilizers are irritants, which means it can cause diarrhea, excessive drooling or vomiting. Furthermore, they could also bring chemical residue into your house after playing in the yard.

If you have any questions on how chemical treatments could affect the health of your pet, be sure to contact Longview Animal Hospital for professional advice and assistance. We are happy to help you.

UPDATE: April 3, 2020

Now Offering Telemedicine

The team at Longview Animal Hospital is working hard to help you care for your pet during these uncertain times. We understand you may find yourself in a situation where your pet needs care and you are unable to leave the house. We are pleased to share that due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the restrictions normally in place for Telemedicine have been temporarily removed.  What that means for you is that we can see your pet virtually without you having to leave your home.  We can share pictures, talk via FaceTime, etc. to get you the care your fur baby needs.  Call us at 903-758-2082 or email us at longviewanimalhospital@gmail.com for details.

UPDATE: March 27, 2020

Important Update Regarding COVID-19

Greetings to our Longview Animal Hospital Family. Our prayer is that your family is staying well and not going stir crazy. We are launching a couple of changes as we work to continue providing service to you and your fur babies as well as caring for our own families.


NEW HOURS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE 
(effective Monday, March 30):

MONDAY – Friday   8 am – 5 pm
First Saturday of Month from 8 am to noon

Note: during the week, we will not close for lunch so you may pick up medications or food items at any time during that window we’re open and of course we’ll be providing our usual services while we’re open. We have continued our implementation of social distancing and our expanded sanitation protocols to maintain a super clean environment for our clients.


PET FOOD CAN BE ORDERED ONLINE AND SHIPPED TO YOUR HOME (effective Monday, March 30)

If you are a regular of our Hills Science Diet or Prescription Diet foods, we are happy to set you up for our new Hills-to-Home program. Shipping is free. They are offering 30% off your first purchase when you set up auto-ship and 5% with each order thereafter. Set up is simple. Just give our team a call and we’ll get you set up. Product arrives within 2-3 business days from the day you order. 


VET SOURCE ONLINE PHARMACY through LONGVIEW ANIMAL HOSPITAL

Purchase your medication refills from home and have them shipped to you! Orders over $49 and all auto-ship products ship FREE. To access our online pharmacy, simply visit www.LongviewAnimalHospital.com and choose ONLINE PHARMACY from the drop down menu (under SERVICES).  Purchase your products knowing they are coming to you with manufacturer’s guarantees. If you have any questions or need additional information please reach out to our team at 903-758-2082.

These are just a few of the additional measures we have in place to help our clients stay safe while still caring for your furry loved ones. Remember to support your favorite local businesses, as much as possible during this difficult time. We appreciate each one of you!


UPDATE: March 19, 2020

Longview Animal Hospital is updating our precautionary measures in response to ever changing COVID-19 Corona Virus developments.  In an effort to minimize risk, we are focusing on limited social interaction as recommended by the CDC. Please see the below:

1) Clients Arriving for Appointments – Please CALL, don’t come straight in

Please call us from your vehicle when you arrive. We will check you in and once your exam room is available, a vet technician will come to your vehicle to escort you into the building. If you prefer to remain in your vehicle, please let us know and we’ll bring your pet into the practice for their services and return them to you once completed.

2) Clients filling Prescriptions and Picking Up Pet Food – Curbside Pickup         

If possible, please call ahead with your refill request. We will collect your payment over the phone, if possible. Then, call us when you arrive and we’ll bring your item(s) along with a receipt to your vehicle.

3) Drop Your Pet Off with Us for Services

Simply call for an appointment as a ‘Drop Off’. We’ll have you bring your pet during a certain window of time in the morning for drop off and will contact you when your fur baby is ready to be picked up. We’ll collect payment over the phone, if possible. Please remember to stay in your vehicle at both drop off and pick up and call us to let us know you’ve arrived.

And as a reminder,

  • If you are having any symptoms of illness, please give us a call to reschedule your appointment.
  • We are continuing to implement our expanded sanitation protocols and asking that staff and clients wash their hands frequently (for at least 20 seconds) and maintain 6’ social distancing when possible.
  • We are currently still open normal business hours. If we have a shortage of available staff members and are forced to modify our hours of operation, we will let clients know via our Facebook page, web site and an email blast.

We appreciate everyone’s cooperation, patience, and understanding during these uncertain times. We will continue to do everything within our power to keep our clients and staff safe and continue to serve your furry loved one’s needs.

Warmly,
Jill
Practice Manager
Longview Animal Hospital


March 16, 2020

1) We are still open for normal business hours and are committed to the safety of our clients, patients and staff. Longview, and the surrounding area, has not seen levels of infection that warrant closing at this time.  As a precaution, however, we have expanded our stringent sanitation protocols to include even more frequent anti-viral/anti-bacterial sanitizing of all areas of our hospital, especially where clients and patients frequent.

2) We are asking that anyone who is feeling ill (including our staff) to please stay home to get well in order to avoid spreading illness to others.  We also want to offer a wait-in-the-car option for clients who prefer to limit personal interactions.  When you arrive at the hospital, please call and let us know you’ve arrived. We’ll get you checked in and will come get you when we are ready for your appointment.

3) COVID-19 is believed to not be a threat to your pets. We routinely vaccinate dogs against certain canine strains of Corona Virus, based upon risk. However, this strain (COVID-19), according to the World Health Organization, has no reported cases of being transmitted to domestic animals.

We appreciate your continued confidence in our team to care for your furry loved one(s). As new developments emerge during this scare, we will surely keep you updated if anything changes in our availability.

If you’re a cat owner, you may have found yourself wondering why your cat does what he does. Why does he zoom around the house at night and then during the day, sleep in the same spot on the recliner? How come he can almost always land on his feet? Why does he narrow his eyes at me looking as if he wants to murder me? Cats are mysterious creatures, which may be the reason why there are so many myths about them. Here are eight common misconceptions about cats.

Myth 1: If you want an affectionate pet, get a dog.

If you’re a cat lover, then this statement will no doubt make you angry. While it’s true that there are cats that don’t seem to appreciate human companionship whatsoever, there are also cats that love to be affectionate – always looking to be pet, snuggling in your lap, or sleeping on your face at night. Every cat has its own personality, much like any species of animal. Your cat is as unique as you are. 

Myth 2: All cats hate water.

While it is true that the majority of felines dislike getting wet, it doesn’t mean that every cat does. Most cats don’t like water as they can become cold and weighed down, making it difficult to escape. If you’ve ever seen a wet cat, you’ve probably noticed how forlorn they look. They may even begin to start shaking with cold. If you do decide to bathe your cat, be sure to introduce them to the water gently.

Myth 3: Cats have nine lives.

There are many theories as to how this myth got its origins, from Shakespeare to Egyptian worship of the Cat Goddess, Bastet. It may also be in reference to the danger that they find themselves in as they are very curious creatures. Or it could have originated from the fact that cats are usually able to land upright. Still, this is obviously a myth as both indoor and outdoor cats need regular check-ups and are susceptible to disease, rabies and fleas.

Myth 4: Cats always land on their feet.

You may have heard from cats falling from an open window two stories up and landing on its feet, unscathed. This is due to the fact that cats have a reflex that allows them to quickly turn and twist while in midair, as well as possessing flexible backbones. Yet, this doesn’t always mean that a cat will land on its feet. It is highly recommended that if you like to open your windows that you have properly installed screens. Please don’t assume that your cat will survive falling out of a window.

Myth 5: Cats only purr when happy.

There’s nothing like having a warm purring cat on your lap. Your cat is happy and you are happy. But cats do not only purr when you’re giving them affection or feeding them. Mother cats will purr to comfort their babies. If your cat isn’t feeling well, he may purr in an effort to comfort himself. In reality, purring has a comforting effect overall- it can even help to lower your blood pressure!

Myth 6: Cats are nocturnal.

Due to their hunting instincts, cats are crepuscular, meaning that they are prone to become active in the evening or in the early morning. Even though your cat is domesticated, it still will have these tendencies. However, your kitties will adjust to your schedule. When you leave the house for the day, most cats will curl up in a comfy spot and snooze until you return. When you go to bed, they will likely follow, but may wake several times during the night (especially if they hear an unfamiliar noise).

Myth 7: Cats need milk or cream in their diet.

You’ve probably seen cartoons where the farmer, while milking, will squirt warm cow’s milk into the mouth of a barn kitten. For kitties who were raised on dairy products, consistently giving them bowls of milk or cream should not harm their stomach. However, in the case of those who were weaned off of their mother’s milk, those cats will have become lactose intolerant as they no longer are able to make the enzyme to ingest milk. So unless you have barn-raised cats, it’s probably best to keep dairy products to a minimum.

Myth 8: Cats cannot be trained.

Cats are not known for obeying orders, in fact, they are often thought of as the ones who make commands of every other species – including their human owners. But, with time and effort, training felines is possible. Just remember that many indoor cats have already been trained to use the litter box! You may venture to try to train your cat to do more spectacular tricks, such as learning to use a regular toilet. Or maybe you’d rather stick to plain and simple – like fetch or follow. 

Whatever myths you may have heard regarding our feline friends, there’s no doubt that once you have owned one or two yourself you discover how quirky and unique they can be!

Choosing a kitten from among its siblings is such a joyful experience as you contemplate the perfect name for your new little fur baby and friend. Like with many pets, it takes a lot of time and training to make sure you and your kitten share the most wonderful life for the next fifteen or so years. One thing you are likely not thinking about is hairballs – although if you end up with a cat, you will soon learn about them!

hairballs

What are hairballs?

Hairballs are not the balls of fluff your cat’s brush accumulates after you groom it. Instead, it is the hair your cat’s tongue licks up while it is grooming itself. A cat’s tongue has a hook-like texture, almost like sandpaper, to it that makes it pick up any loose hairs on the animal’s coat. Most of the time the loose or dead hair passes through the entire digestive tract with no problems at all. The term “hairball” refers to conditions when the cat’s hair remains in the animal’s stomach, forming a ball of fur. When the cat regurgitates this hairball, it looks more like a cylinder because it had to pass through the narrow esophagus.

Are hairballs harmful?

If cats instinctively self-clean using their tongues, then of course these hairballs are not a problem right? Unfortunately, that is where matters can become complicated. Normally, hairballs would not form in a cat’s gut, but when they do it can harm them. If your cat cannot regurgitate the hairball, then the only other place for it to go is through the intestines. This is where it can cause a blockage, which will induce abdominal pain, vomiting, lack of appetite or lethargic behavior. If left untreated and the hairball remains in your cat’s stomach, it may mineralize and become hard. Mineralization is a fairly uncommon occurrence.

How are hairballs prevented?

Now that you know what hairballs are and the dangers they can pose to your furry friend, you probably would like to know what preventative measures you can take. When you consider that cat’s lick their fur to keep their coats clean, it is because there is loose fur. Brushing your cat often, even daily, will help to prevent them from licking up and swallowing excess fur. Make sure your cat’s skin and coat is well maintained with regular brushing, grooming and by applying flea or tick medicine.

Cats also lick themselves excessively when they experience anxiety. Evaluate your cat’s housing situation and make the necessary changes to prevent your cat from being on edge all the time.

What are some at-home treatments?

If you take all of these precautions against hairballs and your cat still struggles with them, then here are some at-home remedies you can try. Keep in mind, it is normal for a cat to regurgitate a hairball once a week. Some simple treatments you can try with your cat is to add a small amount of butter or oil to their food to help lubricate the hairball and allow it to pass more smoothly through the digestive tract, limiting impaction. Another trick you can try is using a treat or gel designed to help cats get rid of hairballs. There are a number of different treats you can use online or in your local pet store – feel free to ask us for a recommendation.

When should you call your veterinarian?

If you have tried everything you can think of from daily brushings to hairball preventative treats and it still has not worked, you should call your veterinarian. Your vet will determine through various methods if the vomiting, lethargic behavior or hacking is due to a hairball. These methods may include an examination, x-ray, ultrasound and blood work. The reason why these tests need done on your cat is to eliminate the chances that the abnormal behavior is not related to asthma or another gastrointestinal issue. More often than not, your cat will take a laxative (under proper supervision and care). Mineralized hairballs often will require removal through surgery.

Having a cat and the laughs, comfort and overall joy they bring far outway the risks posed by hairballs. If you are ever concerned that your cat may have a hairball stuck in their digestive tract, do not hesitate to give Longview Animal Hospital a call. Remember to watch out for a lack of appetite, lethargic behavior, abdominal pain and unproductive hacking or vomiting. Contact Longview Animal Hospital today to make your appointment.

As a caring pet owner, your dog and cat companions are an important part of your life. Watching your pet shake his or her head in distress, combined with frequent scratching, should not be taken lightly. It can be a sign of ear mites or other more serious conditions.

Ear Mites

Though ear mites aren’t necessarily life threatening, they can lead to ear disease and complications like hearing loss. Your pet’s ear health plays a vital role in the overall veterinarian care plan for your pet. If you’re not familiar with ear mites or have concerns about them with your dog or cat, we’ve answered some of the more pressing questions.

What Are Ear Mites?

First of all, ear mites are very common. They’re actually tiny parasites that take up residence inside your pet’s ear canal. Once inside the ear, the mites lay eggs and the reproduction cycle begins. An adult female ear mite continues to reproduce throughout her life, which is usually around two months.

Once in place, the mite population in your pet’s ear grows, typically causing severe itchiness and discomfort for your dog or cat. On occasion, ear mites migrate outside of the ear and onto the skin. The result is the same — considerable itchiness and irritation — on your pet’s skin.

Since they’re tiny parasites, it’s very difficult to see mites. They survive by feeding on dead skin. Ear mites easily spread from animal to animal by casual contact. In addition to significant ear inflammation for your dog or cat, mites can also contribute to ear infections.

It’s not typical for mites to cause problems for humans. But if you do have sensitive skin, you may experience some temporary itching if you come in contact with ear mites.

Common Symptoms of Ear Mites in Pets

One of the telltale signs of ear mites is head shaking. Your dog or cat may also spend time tilting his or her head and engage in frequent ear scratching. If you look inside the ear, you may readily see dark and crusty wax and discharge. In severe cases with significant scratching, blood blisters can appear on the ear. If the mites have spread onto other areas on your pet’s body, you may notice scratching of the irritated skin.

Puppies and kittens are more vulnerable to infestations though pets of all ages can contract mites.

Diagnosing Ear Mites

Though your pet may show signs of the common symptoms of ear mites, other ear diseases or issues can present with similar behaviors. For example, a foxtail (spear grass) seed lodged in your dog’s ear can cause many of the same symptoms — head shaking, discomfort and scratching.

To diagnose ear mites, your veterinarian will examine the ear with an instrument called an otoscope. If you’ve ever had your ears examined by your doctor, you’re familiar with this device. Your veterinarian may also decide to diagnose by a microscopic examination and collect ear discharge. On occasion to complete the examination, your veterinarian may need to sedate your pet if his or her ears are painful from the infestation.

As part of the diagnosis, your veterinarian will also get a history of your pet’s activities, such as contact with other pets who might have ear mite infestations. Pets that spend time outside, especially cats, are at a higher risk for an ear mite infestation.

Treatment of Ear Mites

Once the diagnosis is made, your veterinarian will review treatment options with you based on your pet, the severity of the infestation and your preferences. Since the mites are parasites, the products for treatment are usually insecticidal in nature. They range from topical solutions to injections. Flea medications are sometimes recommended for mite infestations on your pet’s skin.

Your veterinarian will most likely want a follow-up visit with your pet. This is to ensure that the treatment was effective. Further treatment may be necessary to completely eradicate the ear mites.

To prevent future ear mite infestations, your veterinarian may give you tips on keeping your pet’s ear canal clean. Avoiding contact with other dogs or cats with known infestations is also recommended.

When to Call Us

If you’re concerned about your pet — and you’ve noticed behaviors that might indicate ear mites — it’s important to take your dog or cat for an examination. A proper diagnosis is necessary to determine the best treatment. If you’re pet has or develops an untreated ear issue, such as an infection, it can lead to deafness or other serious complications. Proper veterinarian care can prevent more severe consequences from an ear mite infestation. For more information about ear care for your pets or to make an appointment, contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital. Our team of dedicated professionals would be happy to help you care for your furry friends.

According to The American Pet Products Association (APPA) in 2016, 68 perfect of U.S. households owned some sort of pet. Of this population, there were an estimated 90 million dogs, and approximately 94 million cats. In a more recent study, over 70 percent of pet owners consider their pets to be family. Pets have become a part of our everyday life. From companionship to therapeutic support, pets are part of our homes and our families. As a result, pet training and care are not only important, but vital to the social and behavioral health of your furry friends.

The Evolution Of Household Pets

The way we view household pets and their roles in our lives goes far beyond their old school uses like herding, hunting, protection, and/or pest control. They’ve become part of our families, our livelihood, even sharing our day to day moments that mean the most. Oftentimes, they still play a large part in those traditional uses, but now more than ever, pets are becoming an extension of who we are.

Pet Free Kitchen Considerations

Although we can do our best to groom our furry friends regularly, animals by nature are more prone to carrying certain germs and diseases over humans. Whether hairless or furry, hypoallergenic or not, pet dander and fur can oftentimes cause certain allergic reactions in humans. From occasional sneezing and coughing, to more severe symptoms like rashes and throat swelling, minimizing exposure in common places within your home, especially the kitchen, will help keep you and your loved ones safe. Here are some of the top reasons for keeping a pet-free kitchen.

Accidents Happen

Cooking is stressful enough, especially if you are trying to craft the perfect meal to share with your family and/or friends. Keeping the kitchen floor clean and free from pets, toys, shoes, or clothes will keep you, and your food, out of harm’s way.

Prevention Rewards

While training your pet to stay out of the kitchen, it is important to be consistent in this discipline and not allow your pet to have any type of reward from the kitchen for their good behavior. If they are counter jumping, they are more likely to be within reach of foods that could be harmful to their health, and also higher value foods that will trigger a positive reward to their negative actions.

Sanitary Purposes

Being a pet owner has certain requirements, many of which begin with annual wellness checks and vaccinations. If these two steps haven’t been completed, you won’t be able to register your pet, as many counties, cities, and states require for ownership. This may seem unfair, but think about it as a way to ensure your pets safety, and the safety of other pets and their owners, from illness and disease. When pets use the restroom, they are at a much higher risk of infection due to unsanitary conditions and/or left over fecal matter exposure, even if you pick up after your pet.

Being a responsible pet owner is no easy task, but the return is well worth the effort. Keeping your family, friends, and pets healthy and happy is the greatest reward of all.

When it comes to your pets, you want to provide them with the best care possible. Knowing the signs of certain medical issues will help you in determining when your pet needs care. A stroke can cause serious damage. It is caused by a blood vessel becoming blocked or narrowed. Oxygen is no longer making it to the brain, which causes brain cells to die.  By recognizing the signs of strokes in dogs and cats, you can save their life.

Recognizing Strokes in Dogs and Cats

Cats and dogs can suffer strokes just as people can. It may seem like these strokes occur less frequently, but the signs can be more difficult to pick up on. While most strokes are caused by blood clots, bacteria, tumor cells, parasites, trauma, clotting disorders or other diseases may also be to blame. 

Animals can’t tell you directly when something is bothering them. They may be experiencing symptoms of a stroke that you can’t see. They may be having problems with memory or vision. They could be dizzy, but you might not know. That’s why it’s so important to know the things to watch for that you can notice. Depending on the damage severity and part of the brain affected, there will be different neurological signs

Signs and symptoms of a stroke in animals 

Dogs

For dogs, you should look for physical symptoms such as difficulty walking, a head tilt, falling or listing to one side, seizures, abnormal eye movement and blindness. Other signs include loss of housetraining, being less aware of surroundings and a change in personality. 

Cats

Cats have pretty dramatic signs when it comes to stroke and it may be easier to notice. You should watch for trouble walking, either limping on a front leg or dragging one or both hind legs. If your cat is howling or meowing in pain, it can also be a sign of stroke.

Causes of increased risk

Some diseases can cause an increased risk of stroke. If you have a cat or dog with one of the following diseases, you should be extra observant about stroke symptoms: cancer; hypertension; cushing’s disease; hypothyroidism; heart disease; and/or bleeding disorders.

Treatment

If you suspect your pet has had a stroke, the first thing you need to do is contact our offices for an emergency appointment. The sooner a stroke is diagnosed and treated, the better off your pet will be. 

A cardiac evaluation is often one of the first tests that is administered. Many times a stroke may be confused with a fainting episode. This is called syncope and is caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain as well, but usually due to heart disease. In order to make a correct diagnosis, tests may need to include a cardiac ultrasound, chest x-rays or an electrocardiogram.

If it is determined that your pet’s heart isn’t the problem, brain function will be evaluated next. To check for bleeding or brain blockages, an MRI or a CT scan may be done at a specialty hospital. To figure out the root cause of the blood flow problem, hormone level testing, blood pressure reading, urinalysis and blood work tests may be performed as well.

Once the cause of a stroke is determined, we will know how to treat it. Blood pressure stabilizers may be prescribed to fight hypertension. Your pet may be prescribed blood thinners to break up a clot or hormone therapy for hypothyroidism.

After care

As your pet recovers by restoring proper blood flow, the signs and symptoms of a stroke will usually diminish. 

It is very important to make sure to follow any instructions you are given to help your pet recover. You may also need to administer pain medication, and provide physical therapy and nutritional management as well. In the early stages of after care, your pet may also need assistance with urinating, defecating and walking.

To help your pet recover faster, make sure you’re around to help. Your pet should have a comfortable place to rest and plenty of encouragement. You should also make sure that your pet is eating and drinking appropriately. 

You will also need to help your pet get to his feet and encourage him to go outside as needed. Strenuous exercise or vigorous play should be avoided. Your pet will let you know when he is feeling well enough to play.

It can take a while to recover from a stroke. Owners need to be patient and not push their pet too hard during recovery. It can take a few weeks or more for your pet to be back to his/her normal behavior. Once your pet has recovered, make sure to still give plenty of love and encouragement. He may not be as agile as he was before the stroke and you need to keep that in mind as you resume play and a more normal schedule.

It can be terrifying when your pet goes through a major medical event. We are here to help you through the process. Contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital for support and guidance.