2500 Estes Parkway, Longview, TX
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Crazy things Pets Eat (and Associated Health Hazards)


Animals can do some crazy things, but when it comes to eating things they shouldn’t, dogs top the list.  Where cats will get into things like string and tinsel, dogs tend to be much less discriminating with the things they ingest.  Chances are, if it looks good to them, they will eat it, so it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for things around your house that could possibly end up in your dog’s stomach – even if you think it might be unlikely!

Veterinary Practice News runs a contest each year where veterinarians send in x-ray images of the most bizarre things they encounter.  Winners in 2015 included a Doberman with 26 golf balls in it’s stomach, a Labrador puppy who ate the end of a fishing pole, and a Lab that ingested a door hinge.  Other entries included hair ties, plastic children’s toys, kitchen utensils, socks, stuffed animals and more.

If your pet is vomiting bile and seems lethargic, is drooling excessively, suffering from weight loss, dehydration, experiences diarrhea for an extended period of time, or if he/she indicates signs of pain, call your vet.  In many cases, when an obstruction is caught in time, foreign objects can be removed and your pet can experience a full recovery.

Photo from Veterinary Practice News – 2014 Contest Winner

If you suspect that your pet has eaten a foreign object, you should not wait to see if it will pass through on its own and do not try to induce vomiting without veterinary supervision. Typically, an x-ray is required to determine the correct method of treatment for extraction – sometimes through non invasive procedures, other times requiring surgery.  If there is a chance that the item ingested contains toxins, the situation could warrant immediate attention.

If you have a pet that likes to eat things that aren’t food items, the best thing you can do is take the time to ‘dog-proof’ your home.  Be diligent about making sure that items are out of reach of your pet or behind closed doors. Preventative measures for your home and keen supervision of your pet are the most cost effective solutions for this issue.

If you ever have questions or concerns about your pet’s health, feel free to give our team a call at Longview Animal Hospital at (903)758-2082 or reach out to us by email at For more information about us, please visit our website at

paw-print-220232_1280In 2013, according to the National Retail Federation, $815 million was spent on Valentine’s gifts for pets.  Amazing, right?  Crazy gifts like hats with hearts and fru-fru ribbon collars, dog cakes, pendants, and fur coats make up the list of things people purchase for their pets.  On the heels of Valentine’s Day comes Love Your Pet Day on Feb. 20.  You may want to wait on purchasing for the 14th and pick up some items on sale for the 20th instead!

Below are seven ideas for gifts for your favorite furry friend – some are a bit more on the practical side, others just look like fun!   

Don’t forget, your pet will always love extra time with you too!  Plan for a special outing or walk or just spend some time playing or cuddling.  Don’t forget the treats to make it more fun!  

dogs-CC0 PublicDomain-PixabayIt is always great to see well-behaved pets out in public, and it is equally nice to have a pet in your home that displays good manners.  Training helps to teach your dog about how to fit well into our human lives and also enables us to learn about their needs.  

Training should be fun for both owner and pet and should be humane, gentle, kind and effective.  By rewarding good behavior and preventing bad behavior, a pet owner can lay the foundation for years of positive experiences with their dog.  

It is recommended to start by doing some reading on dog-friendly training and methodologies to become familiar with some of the principles of training, and then follow up with a course with a good instructor so that you can ask questions and receive additional guidance.  If you can, try to get into a group training class as well.  Training with a group helps to work on socialization skills with both other dogs and humans.  It is also a great arena to share your challenges and your successes with others and to learn from other dog owners about things they have found that work for them.  

Typically, training begins for puppies at 9-16 weeks of age and includes a good deal of the basics which include how to pay attention, sitting, lying down, taking and leaving items, heeling nicely on a leash, and coming when called.  Older dogs can be trained, but sometimes with more difficulty as they will have to unlearn bad habits.  Beginner training can also give the owner ways to address other undesired behaviors like jumping up on people or chewing items that aren’t chew toys.  

Overall, the training experience should be one that actively engages your pet in the process and should be fun for both the pet and the owner.  The experience strengthens the bond between the two and is helpful for preventing accidents as well as creating a positive home environment that will assure a good lasting relationship.

For Dog Training in our area, contact:

Pam Orms, Pam’s Dog Grooming and Obedience School, 2508 Hendricks St, Gladewater, Texas 75647,(903) 845-4890;


Jenny Lavender, People Training for Pets, 315 Meadowlark Lane, Longview, Texas 75603; (903) 702-9877;
For additional questions about pet care, please feel free to contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital at (903) 758-2082 or stop by our offices, located just south of LeTourneau University at 2500 Estes Parkway, Longview, Texas 75602 (approximately 1 mile north of Interstate 20).  

dogpawThe winter months can be tough to get through for us humans, but they can take a toll on your pet as well.  Although we don’t often get snow or ice in our region, when it does happen we need to be cautious about how it affects our pets.  When it is cold outside, we typically use deicers and salts to melt the ice on pavement, sidewalks, driveways and road surfaces to make them less treacherous.  While we are able to navigate these areas with our winter boots and shoes, our pets are not as fortunate.  

Prolonged exposure to these chemicals can lead to burns on your pet’s paw pads, and long exposure to cold surfaces can lead to frostbite as well.  Instead of taking long walks in winter months, shorter, more frequent walks are recommended.  If you can, keep your pet on grassed or snowy areas instead of on the pavement.  

Some dogs have long hairy feet with longer fur that grows between their toes and paw pads.  These hairs can trap water and freeze causing ice balls to form.  Ice balls can also contain the chemicals from deicers, so keeping these hairs trimmed during the winter months can be helpful.  

To avoid ingesting toxins from deicers and salts, you can wipe your pet’s paws with a soft cloth in warm water when you return from your walks.  You can also use Bag Balm or Vaseline on paw pads during the winter months.  A thin layer applied daily can prevent paw pads from cracking and bleeding, and using a Paw Wax prior to walks can help to keep their sensitive feet from exposure to chemicals on the ground (this works for protecting paws on hot pavement surfaces in the summer too).  

bootiesIf possible, you can use pet friendly products around your home to prevent slippery areas, like sand or kitty litter or commercial products like Safe Paw Deicer.  There are also options for pet boots, sock like coverings with velcro to keep them on.  Booties should not be too tight and may take some time and practice for your pet to adjust to wearing them.  You can start with having them wear them for short times around the house and then longer as they adjust.

If you have any questions about pet care, please feel free to contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital – we are happy to help you!


Longview Animal Hospital is honored to serve Longview and surrounding areas for over 420 dog years (60 years!) Although we recommend you call ahead for a pet  health appointment, we welcome dog care and cat care walk-ins as well. If your schedule doesn’t permit staying for an animal services appointment, we’ve got you covered. Simply drop off your furry friend for the day. Give us a call today – (903) 758-2082 or click here to request a pet health appointment.

The holidays just aren’t quite complete without something special for our furry friends.  If you find yourself searching for just the right thing for them, consider one of these!

For Dogs who love squeaky plush toys, but ruin them within a day with punctures, go for the Kyjen Invincible Snake Dog Toy, a stuffing-free plush toy that comes with either 3 or 6 squeakers and a tail that rattles.  The squeakers continue to work even if punctured!

If you don’t need the plush outside, you can’t go wrong with any of the Kong Squeezz toys – These toys are always durable and also continue to squeak when punctured.

We love dog treats that are easy to make yourself – you know exactly what is in them.  For those who have baking on their schedule you can try this recipe and let us know how your dog likes them:

Homemade Dog Biscuitsdog biscuits

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup nonfat powdered milk
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup hot water or chicken broth

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. You may have to use your hands as it will be very dry. Pat it onto a cookie sheet to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes of your choice. You can let dry or bake in a 350 degree F oven until firm, about 10-15 minutes.

Once you’ve made your treats, you can use them in one of the treat dispensing toys to help keep your dog engaged and happy for hours!  Look for durable, easy to clean dispensers like the Kong Ball or a Tux Treat Toy (you can mix the treats with peanut butter or dog food and serve either frozen or thawed)!

For your feline friend, try Hagen’s Catit Design Senses Speed Circuit for a complete sensory activity center.  This is an expandable product which can be made larger with add on components too!


cat tableOf course, everyone knows how much cats love boxes.  The Japanese Company, 9Lives makes a perfect magazine table that doubles as a hiding place for your kitties.  While shipping for this item may be prohibitive, you might be able to use the concept for upcycling something similar.

And then there are the old standby’s, tried and true toys that all cats seem to love including feather dancers, string toys (for use with supervision), and catnip plushes (we like the refillable kind).  


If you find your pet has a favorite gift this year, please share on our Facebook Page at along with photos!  It might just make our list for next year!

fancy_findleyFancy, a precious poodle that is one of our favorite patients, came in on June 23, 2015 after suddenly not being able to stand or walk due to weakness in her rear legs.  Her owner, Jo Findley, was concerned she’d have to put Fancy down.  Dr. Foye was immediately thinking Fancy had injured a disc in her back and took two radiographs (x-rays).  

After confirming the diagnosis and identifying the area of injury, Dr. Foye discussed other options for Fancy.  Mrs. Findley decided to try and help Fancy, so Dr. Foye began treatment and prepared her to go see a specialist in Shreveport since spinal cord surgery is one of the few procedures that we don’t perform here at Longview Animal Hospital.  

After surgery, Dr. Foye and Hailey, his lead tech, fitted Fancy with a cart to help her get around until she re-gained strength and nerve function in her rear legs again.  Everyone had to be patient, especially Fancy’s owner…

But look at her now!  We’re so happy, and proud, to have been involved in getting Fancy back on her feet!  She’s back to her crazy, energetic and sweet self! What a merry Christmas it’s going to be at the Findley house this year!

senior petsYou know your pet better than anyone, but sometimes you can miss the signs that something is wrong. Monitoring your pet’s health is an important part of routine care.  Once your pet reaches the age of 7, it is important to do bloodwork to establish baseline information so that as they continue to age, new tests can be compared to the baseline and detect any changes that might indicate a problem.

Medical advances allow your veterinarian to diagnose potential diseases before they become a serious issue for your pet.  If detected early, 75% of common diseases in dogs and 63% of common diseases in cats can be prevented by dietary modifications over a one year period of time.  Early detection of liver and kidney diseases can provide full recovery or extension of lifespan for a pet with proper treatment, and early therapy regimens for a pet that has developed diabetes can prevent damage to other organs.

Semi-annual visits are recommended for all pets so that signs of illness or other problems can be detected early and treated.

Your pet and your pet’s needs will change as they age. For example:

  • Your pet may need foods that are more easily digested and contain different calorie levels, ingredients and anti-aging nutrients.
  • Your pet may experience a change in weight: weight gain in dogs or weight loss in cats can indicate a greater risk of health problems.
  • Your pet’s immune system may not be able to fight off diseases or heal as fast as in a younger animal, so detection of parasites becomes more important.  A different vaccination schedule may be necessary as well for an older pet.
  • Your pet’s mobility is likely to change, so keeping your  older pet active with appropriate exercise can keep them healthier. They may not be able to maneuver stairs as well as they used to and may spend more time resting indoors.
  • Geriatric pets can show signs of senility, hearing loss, vision loss, etc.  If you notice any changes in your pet’s behavior you should consult your veterinarian.  Interact with your pet to keep them mentally active.

Veterinarians across the country agree that as pets age, you should conduct the following 5 tests once or twice a year to diagnose and manage possible diseases and age-related issues:

  • Complete Blood Count to detect Anemia, Leukemia, Infection, Inflammation
  • Blood Chemistry Profile for Liver, Kidney, Pancreas, Muscle and Bone Disorders
  • Thyroid Function Blood Test for Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism
  • Urinalysis to detect Kidney Disease, Protein Loss, Diabetes
  • Fecal Exams to check for parasites like Hookworms, Whipworms, Roundworms, Coccidia, Giardia and Tapeworms:  View the Parasite Indexes Here

As always, our team at Longview Animal Hospital is here to help.  If you have any questions or concerns about your aging pet, please feel free to contact us at 903-758-2082.

Senior Pet Health – Detect and Protect Resource

cat ornamentThe holiday season is a wonderful time of year.  We spend precious time with our families and friends, decorate our homes, host and attend celebrations, and feast on some of our favorite foods – some of them reserved for only once a year!  Make sure your pets enjoy the holidays too.  A little bit of thought about pet safety can make your holidays go smoothly, without any unfortunate incidents along the way.  Here are a few of our favorite tips:

Christmas Trees:

  • If you have a tree in your home during the holidays, make sure to anchor it to prevent falling injuries.
  • If it is a ‘live’ tree, don’t allow pets to drink the tree water as it might contain fertilizer or other additives (many people use aspirin in the water).   Tree water can also build up bacteria over time which can cause digestive distress to your pets.

Holiday Decorations:

  • Avoid using plants for decorations that can be toxic if ingested (mistletoe, holly, lilies).  Pointsettias are mildly toxic to pets – use your judgement or place items out of reach.
  • Limit your use of tinsel – or go without it completely – as these can cause digestive obstructions if eaten by your pet.
  • Practice candle safety.  Make sure someone is in the room when lit candles are present – blow them out and relight them as you need.
  • Keep wires, batteries and ornaments out of reach of pets to prevent shocks, burns and shard ingestion.


  • Skip the chocolates and the sweets or make sure they are kept in containers that make them inaccessible to your pets.  Foods to be wary of include chocolate, grapes, raisins and onions.
  • Secure the lids on your trash cans to make them pet-proof.
  • Leave the leftovers for the humans and keep your pet on their regular pet diet.
  • Keep pets away from alcoholic beverages.

Pet Gifts:

  • Use chew toys that are safely digestible – i.e. Kongs that are stuffed with healthy treats keeps them busy and are safe.
  • Refrain from stringy toys for cats – as much as they love them, they can get stuck in intestines.  Use bell toys or stuffed catnip toys, cat dancers, etc. instead.

Pets and Your Guests:

  • Ask your guests to make sure any medications are stored away securely.
  • Give your pets a room of their own that is quiet and comfortable.  Make sure they have water there as well.

If you have any troubles over the holiday season, or if you have questions on safety, please give us a call.  We are happy to help

Our staff at Longview Animal Hospital wishes you and your pets a happy and safe holiday season!

Fall is here and so is hunting season!  Keep your pets safe this fall by keeping in mind some general tips.

Knowing when and where hunting might be taking place in your area is a great place to begin.  For residents of Gregg and Harrison Counties, you can check this page at Texas Parks and Wildlife for hunting seasons in each county, and at this page for a location map of public hunting areas in Texas.

dog in hunting vestWhen you are out with your pet, keep an eye out for signs that there may be hunters in the area.  Are there cars or trucks parked on road shoulders near wooded areas? Do you see people wearing ‘hunter orange’ hats, vests?  White-tailed deer are crepuscular animals, which means that they are mostly active in the early morning and late evening hours.  This is when most hunters will be out, so if you are walking near designated hunting locations, make sure to take steps to make sure that you are visible.  You can use brightly colored or reflective gear for both you and your pet – collars, leashes, vests, bandanas, etc.  (See our post on walking your pet during reduced daylight hours here.)

Stay on well-traveled roads or paths and make sure to keep pets on a leash.  In addition to keeping them from chasing a deer or other animal, it will also prevent them from wandering into areas where they might come across old carcasses or hunters actively seeking a target.   If you spot a hunter while walking, make yourself known to him or her.  Surprises during hunting season can be dangerous.  Keep a bell handy or hum a tune while you walk so that you can be identified as being in the area.

Pets are typically afraid of the sound of gunshots (with the exception of hunting dogs), so you might want to avoid areas where you know hunting is taking place nearby.  If you have a pet that gets particularly agitated from the sounds, you can consider giving them a calming medication (give us a call if this is a concern for your pet).

While you don’t want to curtail all outdoor activities during hunting season, you might consider a few indoor games to keep your pets busy during the peak season – things like hiding treats for them to find, obedience and clicker training, a small agility course, or a grooming session.  These can add some extra in-home stimulation and make up for shorter walks.

halloween pet safetyHalloween can be a fun time of year – creative costumes, spooky decorations and, of course, candy!  Considering all the unusual activity during Halloween, maintaining a quiet and safe space in your home for your pets is an important part of pet safety.  Keep the following tips in mind to make the holiday safe for your pets and have a Happy Halloween!


Keep pets away from the candy bowls: All forms of chocolate can be dangerous for dogs and cats and candies that contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol can be harmful as well.  


Be aware of your decorations: Keep hazards like candles and lit decorations in areas where pets can’t tip them and make sure electrical cords are out of the way and protected from being chewed on.  Keep glow lights and glow sticks away from pets – while not necessarily toxic, they can interfere with salivation and digestion.  Pets should also be kept away from decorations that could pose harmful from entanglement or choking.


Keep your pets indoors on Halloween (and for a few days before and after): Protect your pets from pranks and mistreatment and assure the safety of your trick-or-treaters.  Black cats can particularly become a target during the Halloween holiday.  


Keep your pets in a safe, confined, secure area:  Since your door will be constantly opening and closing as you greet trick-or-treaters and deliver your treats, keeping your pets in a confined part of your home will assure they don’t get out by accident and will keep them a bit calmer with all of the activity of costumed strangers coming to your door.  If your pet should get out during Halloween, pet identification tags or a microchip can make them easier to locate or for someone else to locate the owner of a found pet.


Try out pet costumes in advance: Not all pets enjoy a costume – they may find it restrictive or confining, or they might just find it uncomfortable.  If a costume is not right for your pet, consider a simple decorative kerchief or collar, or let him/her go in their birthday suit.


Leave your pets at home when you go trick-or-treating:  The Halloween activity and costumes can be scary for your pet and could cause them to behave differently.  Best to err on the side of caution and keep your pet at home.   

Our staff at Longview Animal Hospital wishes you and your families a Happy and Safe Halloween!