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FOR OVER 475 DOG YEARS!

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When Is the Best Time to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Bringing a new kitten or puppy into your family is an exciting time. Adding a pet to your household also requires some important decision making. Choosing whether or not to have your new pet spayed or neutered is an important decision that can have long-term implications for your pet and your family. Learn more about what it means to have your pet spayed or neutered, why you should consider these procedures, what type of impact this surgery will have on your pet and more.

What is Spaying and Neutering

Spaying and neutering are medical procedures in which an animal’s’ reproductive organs are removed. When a female cat or dog is spayed their uterus and ovaries are removed, while when a male cat or dog is neutered the testes are removed. These procedures are sometimes referred to as having the animal ‘fixed.’ Both procedures are done under general anesthesia and it typically takes several weeks for the pet to make a full recovery.

Why Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Having your pet spayed or neutered can provide several benefits. Often, the most common benefit is preventing the pet from breeding. Pregnant pets, as well as new kittens and puppies require additional veterinary care, and finding good homes for the litter can sometimes be a challenge. Having your pet spayed or neutered ensures you will not have your hands full with an unplanned litter.

Unfortunately, many unplanned pets end up as strays or in shelters. This can put the animals in harm’s way and place a burden on local shelters and rescue operations. Pet overpopulation is a problem in many areas, and unplanned litters of puppies and kittens contribute to the problem. Taking action and ensuring your pet is spayed or neutered helps keep the local pet population under control.

Health Benefits

Spaying and neutering your pet also reduces certain life-threatening health risks. Spayed females are clearly not at risk for health issues related to the organs that were removed, but spayed females also experience a reduced chance of mammary tumors. Neutered male pets are less likely to experience prostate disease. The health benefits of spaying or neutering your pet extend beyond health concerns related to the reproductive organs.

Behavioral Issues

In some instances, having your pet fixed may help address behavioral issues. Spaying or neutering your cat or dog is not guaranteed to curb certain behaviors, but sometimes this does prove to be an effective solution.

Cats and dogs, particularly males, are more likely to roam and explore surrounding areas. Sometimes, when pets are spayed or neutered they lose interest in roaming and tend to stay close to home. Animals can also be territorial and will mark their areas, including the inside of your home, with urine to indicate their turf to other animals. Spayed and neutered pets are much less likely to be territorial. In other cases, having your dog neutered or spayed can reduce aggressive behavior and prevent unwanted behaviors, such as mounting.

Misconceptions

There are plenty of misconceptions or myths surrounding whether to spay or neuter pets. One such myth is that having your pets spayed or neutered will make the animal lazy and gain weight. This is not true and there is no evidence to support this belief. Regardless of whether or not your pet is spayed or neutered it is important to feed your pet a healthy diet and ensure your furry friend gets plenty of exercise.

When to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

After deciding to spay or neuter your pet, your next decision revolves around timing. Some animals can be spayed or neutered as young as four months, while other breeds stand to benefit from waiting until the animal is about nine months of age or possibly even older.

If an animal is too young when undergoing surgery they may grow up to be shy and timid pets and have trouble socializing with people and other animals. Spaying or neutering young pets can also impact the animal’s growth and development. As an animal grows the reproductive organs release hormones that aid in growth. If these organs are removed prematurely growth and development may be stunted, resulting in issues such as orthopedic problems.

The ideal time to have your kitten or puppy fixed can vary from one breed to another, so it’s important to consult your vet if you wish to have your pet spayed or neutered. For instance, large breed dogs typically require a year or longer to reach maturity, so for large breed dogs it is necessary to wait until the animal is older before they can undergo this surgery.

Do What’s Best for Your Pet

As a responsible pet owner you need to do what is in the best interest of your pet. Having your kitten or puppy spayed or neutered provides a host of health benefits, may possibly reduce or eliminate behavioral issues and also helps prevent pet overpopulation. Feel free to Contact our Team at Longview Animal Hospital if you have questions, concerns or want to schedule a time for your pet to have the procedure.

curbside pickup service

Need to arrange to pick up a prescription or food products for your pet? Just give us a call to place your order by phone, and then call us when you arrive in our parking lot. We will deliver your order directly to your vehicle along with your receipt! We are pleased to add this new curbside pickup service to our clients.

free phone appWe are excited to tell you about our New  Longview Animal Hospital FREE Phone App!  Join our Loyalty Program and earn rewards for your purchases & visits, receive notifications about important pet health and hospital updates, request appointments and refills right from your smartphone!

With the phone app, you can:

  • Receive loyalty rewards for purchases (as outlined below)
  • Upload a pet selfie
  • Request an appointment or a prescription refill
  • View your pet’s health history
  • Call our Offices directly from the phone app

Once you sign up for our FREE Vet2Pet App, you will begin to receive loyalty rewards (you receive 1 loyalty paw print just for signing up)!

Our Client Care Team keeps your account up to date with your new earned paw prints every time we process a payment.

For every $100 spent on products and/or services, you receive a loyalty paw print stamp.

You can also receive loyalty paw prints for these activities:

  • Positive Google or Yelp Review: 3 Paw Prints
  • Refer a New Client: 3 Paw Prints

Ways to redeem your Loyalty Paw Prints

3 Paw Prints: Complementary Nail Trim or One Night of Boarding

7 Paw Prints: $50 Credit toward a Dental Cleaning

16 Paw Prints: $100 Credit toward any product or service

Click the links below to download our FREE App or Search LAH Vet in the App Store and in Google Play.

iPhoneApp LAH Vet Android App LAH Vet
 

Using the Free Phone App

If you should have any questions or need any assistance in using the phone app, please let us know or ask us at your next visit.  We will be happy to help you!

Fun Ways to Show Your Pet How Much You Care

When it comes to our pets, they are a part of the family and it’s important to show them that. They provide us with irreplaceable and unconditional love. They never judge us or put us down and have the power to change our lives for the better. Pets crave attention and love too and there are different things that we can do to show them how much we really care.

Fun ways to show your pet how much you care

– Offer puzzles

It’s not healthy for us to just shower our pets with love through food. This can lead to making them overweight with too many calories. There are better ways to treat them and also keep their brains sharp in the process. Try a puzzle treat dispenser. This will keep your pet busy and also offer them a reward at the end.

– Keep their coat combed

Make sure to regularly comb your pet, especially during shedding season. Not only will this keep your home and clothes cleaner, it will also offer many other benefits. Your pet will be more comfortable, give you more time to bond and reduce your own stress levels. The act of combing or brushing is great for both you and your pet. The same can be said about petting your dog regularly. Some dogs love to snuggle, so make sure to make some time for this every day to show them how much you care.

– Help them get exercise

Pets can easily get bored and it’s very important to help them release energy through play and exercise. If you have a dog, add in some extra time during your regular walk or take a new route for them to enjoy a different environment. Play fetch and get them running around. For cats, you could take out a laser pointer or a flashlight for some fun time getting them to chase the light. This could work with dogs too.

– Get them a special present

Depending on the pet, this special present could vary. For a dog it may be a new toy, treats or a day at the park with you. For cats, it may be a cat tree or an indoor water fountain. Whatever your pet is into, make sure to treat them with it every once in a while.

– Talk to them

Many people have a tendency to do this anyway, but with our busy lives, it is important that you interact with your pet. Simply talking to them shows that you want to interact and that you’re engaged. Even if they don’t know what you’re saying, they do understand that you’re paying attention to them. It could even be therapeutic for you to voice things that have been swirling around in your head all day.

– Teach them something new

While we focus on teaching things when our pets are babies, they are still capable of learning as they get older. Make sure to reinforce old tricks as well. Your pet will love the extra attention you’re giving them and it also helps keep their mind sharper. It may take some work, but they can learn something new.

– Upgrade their bed

Pet beds tend to wear out, so make sure to monitor the condition and replace them when necessary. There are many choices out there and even specialty beds that can help with different pet ailments as well. You can even get your pet a memory foam bed to offer more orthopedic support. With the holiday season coming up, many stores will have deals as well, so keep an eye out during this time of year!

– Make time for them

The biggest thing that we can do to show our pets how much they mean to us is by simply making time for them. It can be difficult with how busy our lives get, but remember, pets need attention too. They want to feel loved and cared for. It’s so easy to put off things, so if you find yourself doing that too often with your pet, schedule some time. Put it on your calendar to spend some time with your pet. This will act as a great reminder and help you remember to take a breath as well.

– Keep regular vet appointments

It’s important for your pet to be healthy. Make sure you’re taking them for their regular vet appointments and keeping on top of any health problems.

Do something special to remind  your pets how much you love them. Not only will they feel better, but so will you! Contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital about any pet care concerns!

Squeezing a workout into your daily schedule when you have a busy lifestyle can be tough. Our time often needs to be dedicated to other pursuits like cooking, cleaning, commuting, reading, and of course taking care of our beloved four legged family members. Some of us find time for the gym and maintain a healthy fitness regimen, but the gym time takes away from our dog’s exercise, attention and affection time. What’s the solution? Start turning your dog walking time into fitness time for the both of you.

Not only is regular brisk walking with your dog exceptionally good for their health and yours, but making dog walking about fitness helps you stay motivated. When our workout isn’t just all about us, the usual excuses not to exercise tend to ring hollow. We can’t be too tired, because our dog needs us. We can’t be too busy, because our dog needs us. The weather is never too bad, because our dog needs that time and exercise. There are more benefits for you both than just getting fit and staying that way, too.

Health Benefits of Regular Walking

Even 20 minutes of exercise a day walking your dog has a good deal of positive health effects now and in the future. Here are some highlights:

  • Risk of breast cancer is reduced by 75 percent
  • Risk of heart disease is decreased by 49 percent
  • Risk of Diabetes reduced up to 35 percent
  • Risk of colon cancer lowered by 22 percent

That’s some pretty compelling data to keep you motivated about your fitness and workouts. Better still, there are similar health benefits for your faithful furry companion, too. You should always get your dog checked out by your veterinarian before starting a new exercise routine. So how do you go about making this walking fitness happen? Here are some tips and tricks. 

Easy Ways to Turn Your Dog Walking Into A Workout

There are many approaches to implementing a fitness regimen with your dog on a daily basis, but let’s take a look at a few of the easiest ones to start you out.

Set a Brisk Pace

The smallest and simplest changes are often the most powerful. It may seem a little obvious, but keeping a brisk rate of speed while you walk increases the benefits of your daily walk. Give yourself 2-5 minutes of your walk to warm up, then push yourself to walk quickly for the rest of your workout.

Walk Further

Sustained exercise helps you build up your endurance over time, and you will find you can walk faster for longer when you add distance to your daily walks.

Make Use of Elevation

Walking uphill and downhill (provided you have hills in your area) can add a significant boost to the amount of calories you and your dog burn during your walk, and helps you build up your strength and stamina more rapidly.

Intervals Work Wonders

Rather than walking at a rapid pace for the entire workout, try spreading it out into 30 second bursts over the course of your walk. Walk at a leisurely pace for a minute, then rapidly for 30 seconds, then at a natural pace again for another minute. This helps ease your body and muscles into working out without putting undue strain on them if you are new to personal fitness.

Take a Strength Training Break

While you are out at the park with your dog, give them a break to sniff around and rest a bit. Once your dog is occupied, do some stretching and calisthenics. Learn some yoga poses that help strengthen your walking muscles and your upper body, or do some push-ups, sit-ups or leg lifts as you are able. If the ground isn’t suitable for floor work, substitute squats, jumping jacks, and lunges. You don’t need to go for the world record here, but strength training is one of the most effective ways to get fit and stay fit even if you are older and less mobile than you used to be.

Make Time for Play Time

Once your strength training is out of the way, it’s time to break out the dog toys for some fetch or tug-o-war. These are great cardio and strength training for your dog, and  it helps older dogs maintain their coordination and mobility longer.

Are you ready to get fit with your dog? Skip the gym, save some money, and give these exercises a try. Go out walking every day, and stick to your routine. Let them be your fitness buddy to help you when you are unmotivated. Both you and your pet will be happier, healthier, and spend more time together now and in the years to come.

If you should have any questions or concerns about a fitness routine for your pet, please contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital. We will be happy to assist you!

Items in Your Household That Are Poisonous to Cats and Dogs


There are many joys that come with being an owner of a dog or cat. Pets provide comfort, happiness, and emotional support. Studies have been done that show owning a pet can help fight depression and can increase our odds of living longer, along with many other positives. With all the benefits that our pets provide us, we strive to do our best to care for them in return. 

When parents are expecting a new baby, they will go to great lengths to “baby proof” their home, such as keeping dangerous objects out of reach and installing cabinet locks. This same care and precaution needs to be applied to pets as well, for they are just as curious and able to get into places that can cause harm to their health.  Both dogs and cats have mischievous tendencies, and coupled with their ability to get into places they shouldn’t, this can spell disaster without preparation. 

It can be difficult to know how to prepare your home for every situation that can happen to your pet, especially when it comes to the consumption of a poisonous object. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of items around the house that pose a threat to your pets when consumed. With this knowledge, you can greatly decrease the chance of your pet eating any poisonous or dangerous items around your home. 

FOODS

Pets often beg for our food or try their best to snatch it off our plates and countertops. While we easily assume that they can eat “people food,” it is simply not the case. There are many food items that are poisonous to cats and dogs, many of which are the same for the two species. Consuming these items can lead to organ failure and death, so it’s important to know what to keep out of reach to prevent that from happening.

And please note that if you are hosting people over at your house where food will be out, make sure that it is placed high enough to be out of reach from your pets. If you have a cat who jumps onto countertops, you might have to keep them confined to a part of the house away from where the food will be. Also, make sure your guests know not to feed scraps of food to your pet. Unlike the movies, pets should not be given the leftover bits from your plate; save them for the real garbage disposal. 

Below is a list of food items that are poisonous or dangerous. 

Dogs:

  • Chocolate (especially dark chocolate and cooking chocolate)
  • Coffee
  • Onions
  • Grapes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Garlic
  • Avocado
  • Alcohol
  • Chicken Bones
  • Raw meat
  • Xylitol (an added sweetener)

Cats:

  • Caffeine drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Grapes
  • Xylitol
  • Yeast dough

PLANTS

Some plants can pose a very dangerous threat to curious pets who like to nibble on anything within reach. Be sure to check that the plants both inside and outside your home are nontoxic, in case your pet does ingest it. You might want to familiarize yourself with what these plants look like, so you can avoid them when taking your pet for a walk outside of your property zone. 

Below are a list of plants that are poisonous.

Dogs:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Ivy
  • Crassula Ovata/Jade
  • Dieffenbachia/Dumb Cane
  • Philodendron
  • Pothos
  • Sago Palm
  • Zamioculcas/ZZ Plant
  • Caladium
  • Corn Plant
  • Asparagus Fern
  • Foxtails

Cats:

  • Lily
  • Poinsettia
  • Aloe Vera
  • Azalea
  • Tulips
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Rhododendron
  • Mistletoe

HOUSEHOLD ITEMS

When it comes to items inside your home, it’s safe to assume that anything is fair game. Dogs and cats like to chew up things both big and small, fluid or solid, so try to see your belongings from their perspective. If you’re worried your pet could swallow it, causing an obstruction in their stomach, then place that item out of their reach.

Items poisonous/dangerous to both dogs and cats when consumed:

  • Batteries
  • Small toys and figurines
  • Plastic bags
  • String, yarn, and dental floss
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Cleaning products
  • Fertilizer
  • Pest-control products
  • Garbage
  • Antifreeze
  • Jewelry
  • Dishwashing detergent

What To Do If Your Pet Consumes These Items

If your pet has consumed any of these items or if you suspect they have, it is important to act fast. Call your vet or poison control immediately. Take note of what your pet ate, how long ago they ate it, how much they ate, and what symptoms, if any, they are showing. If you are able to, bring the substance that was consumed with you to the vet; this will help the doctor during the examination. It’s important to note that cats are masters at hiding their pain, so it’s imperative to watch for any change in their behavior. 


Symptoms to watch for in both cats and dogs:

  • Breathing trouble
  • Change in bathroom habits
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Lameness (especially in cats) and weakness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tremors and shivering
  • Loss of appetite

If you have any questions, concerns, or are in need of guidance in the event that your pet consumes something they shouldn’t, feel free to contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital. The health of your pet matters.

Seeing Eye Dogs

If you are someone without a visual impairment, you might not have much experience with seeing eye dogs. Seeing eye dogs are service dogs trained specifically to assist and guide people who are blind or visually impaired. With this guidance, people who are blind can enhance their independence and self-confidence throughout their daily activities. 

 

The Seeing Eye is a great non-profit organization to turn to, whether you are in need of a seeing eye dog or in need of information on them. There are also Guide Dogs of America and Guide Dogs for the Blind, both of which offer free services.

 

If you’ve ever wondered how seeing eye dogs are trained and chosen for work, and how you should interact with one, then look no further! Here is everything you need to know about these fascinating guide dogs.

 

Breeding and Training

 

In the first seven to eight weeks of life, puppies are shown love, care, and affection in order to get them comfortable with human interaction. They are exposed to many different types of sights and sounds, such as vacuum cleaners, loud social environments and sound machines, in order to familiarize them with these every day occurrences. The goal is to desensitize the puppies, so that they are used to any given situation.

 

After their first seven to eight weeks, they are raised in foster homes until they reach 12 to 18 months of age. The goal is to train them, further expose them to social situations and human interactions, and get them comfortable with going out in public places. It’s important that their foster family is showing them as much of the outside world as they possibly can during their first year of life. Foster families are encouraged to take the puppies with them in public or anywhere that dogs are allowed.

 

Once they are in their first year, the dogs are checked for health and trained by a professional for four months. They train in rural, suburban and urban areas, and clicker-training is an important tool used by the instructors. After those four months, the instructor trains with the seeing eye dogs and their new owners. Bonding is an important part of this training; trainers will spend hours working with the dog and handler, in order to solidify their relationship before they go off on their own. It is important to note that seeing eye dogs are not pets; their relationship with their handler goes much deeper than that. Therefore, it is imperative that dog and owner are perfectly matched.  

 

Trainers take many considerations when pairing a handler with a service dog, such as matching personalities and environments. Some considerations include whether there are children or other pets in the home, what the hobbies are of the handler, how active their lifestyle is, and what type of city they live in. On top of this information, trainers will take note of how strong of a pull the handler has on a leash, so they can pair them a dog who matches that pull.

 

Because dogs are color blind, seeing eye dogs cannot interpret street signs. However, they do assist their owners in crossing streets and navigating through traffic. In addition, they are trained to intelligently disobey.  This means that they will ignore a command by their owner if it will jeopardize their owner’s safety, such as stepping out into oncoming traffic. It is important that seeing eye dogs take directional cues from their owners, but also be on the lookout for hazards and obstacles that their owners cannot see.

 

Interacting with Service Dogs

 

It is very important for people to be aware that service dogs are working dogs. When you see a service dog in a public setting, it is not appropriate to approach them with the intent to pet them, like you would a non-service dog. This can cause a distraction, and interacting with a distracted service dog can put the safety of their owner at risk. Unless you have been given permission by their owner, do not pet, feed, or make eye contact with a guide dog at work. If you are given permission to interact with a seeing eye dog, make sure to do so calmly. Otherwise, when you encounter someone with a service dog, it is best to ignore the dog completely.

 

Fun Facts

 

Common breeds that are chosen for seeing eye dogs include Labrador and Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds, while Standard Poodles can be good candidates for people in need of a hypoallergenic dog.

 

Female dogs retire at age four, and male dogs sire eight to ten litters before they are adopted. If a dog is not chosen to work as a seeing eye dog, oftentimes their foster family is given the opportunity to adopt them before they are adopted by someone else.

 

Dogs of various breeds, sizes, and personalities are acceptable and closely matched to their human partner. The Seeing Eye in particular puts less emphasis on breeding the perfect dog, and more on finding the perfect partnership between owner and dog.

 

National Seeing Eye Dog Day is coming up on January 14th, and International Guide Dogs Day is celebrated on April 25th.

Mutts Make Great Pets

Not every dog is a purebred dog, and that’s okay. In fact, 95 percent of dogs in shelters are mixed breed mutts. Many dog lovers out there would much rather have a mixed breed mutt for a pet. Most dogs are mixed breed, and many pet owners feel it is their duty to adopt a mixed-breed dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. Not only are you saving a pet’s life, you’re getting a companion for life. What a wonderful feeling it is to take one more dog out of the shelter into his or her forever home.

Unfortunately, some mixed-breed dogs result from unethical breeding practices, so by adopting a dog, you’re doing a great thing.  You may get the best qualities of both breeds in your mixed breed dog. After all, purebred dogs are bred for certain tasks like hunting or herding. Mutts are a mix of all traits, and tend to have better temperaments and fewer health problems as well. In general, these dogs are more adaptable and less prone to the behavior problems that some purebred breeds have.

Genetics do play a role in what personality a dog will have but so does training and socialization, both of which have a huge impact on a dog’s temperament and behavior as they grow and adjust to their new home and surroundings. Think about obedience training right away to help your new pet get off on the right foot (or paw, that is).

Mixed-breed pets cost far less than pricey purebreds over a lifetime. Certainly, up-front costs like shots and spaying or neutering are the same regardless of the dog, but lifetime vet bills will likely be less with a mixed breed. This is because mutts in general have far fewer health issues over their lifetimes. Purebred genetics can lead to specific breed problems like hip dysplasia or specific types of cancer. Mutts are simply hardier and have longer life expectancies. A more diverse genetic composition means that the pet is far sturdier healthwise, and that’s easier on your pocketbook. By comparison, purebred dogs are much more likely to suffer from inbreeding and therefore have mutated genes.

Mutated genes often lead to health issues like neurological issues and epilepsy, bone and joint disorders, cancers and reproductive issues. Purebreds are much more likely to carry diseases, and have specific medical problems for a certain breed. For example, golden retrievers and German shepherds often have hip dysplasia, and Cocker spaniels often suffer from eye problems.

One of the greatest things about mutts are their uniqueness. Mixed breed dogs can have genes from two or more different breeds, so you’ll get your own little (or big) ball of fur unlike no other.

You might be surprised to find out that poodles are the most common purebred found in mixed breed dogs. Labradoodle (Labrador and poodle)? Labsky (labrador and husky)? What kind of mixed breed do you want. One thing is for sure—your mixed breed will be one-of-a-kind, and will look and behave differently from any other dog.

Perhaps you’re looking for just the right sized dog, not to small but not too big. Mixed breeds tend to be average-sized dogs between 30 and 60  pounds. Purebreds on the other hand can range from Chihuahua size to mastiff!

Just remember that 95 percent of dogs in shelters are mutts. These dogs are durable, healthy and lovable. There are several places in our area to find your forever pet, including: Hope for Pets, Texas Star  Rescue ,  The Cat’s Meow Rescue, Longview Animal Care & Adoption Center, and Regard for Life.

Mutts are generally healthier, but it is really important for you to start your journey right with your new pet, from that very first vet visit after you get home, to annual visits after that.

Just like you have a schedule for doctor’s checkups, so should your pet. At Longview Animal Hospital, we can help. We want to meet your new furry friend! We will make sure that you and your pet have access to our high quality veterinary care. Come visit us to request an appointment. We’d love to have you as a new client; in fact, we’ll give you 50% off your pet’s first physical exam. Give us a call – we’ll treat your pet just as if he or she were our own. Your mutt will be in good hands, we promise!

Tips for making your pet's holiday boarding stay easierBefore we know it, we will be in the thick of the holidays. Many people travel during this time to see family and friends. There may be a variety of reasons why you’re not able or don’t want to bring your pet with you while you’re traveling. It can also be hard to find friends or family willing to pet sit for you when they have family functions of their own going on as well. This is when you may turn to a resort or boarding facility for your pet.  Our boarding facilities at Longview Animal Hospital offer exceptional value – ask us about our protocols and be sure to reserve your spot early!

With all of the options available, it’s important that you do your homework before turning over your pet. You want boarding your pet to ease your stress about leaving them behind, not increase it. Different places offer different services and you want somewhere that will be comfortable for them and treat your pets well.

Tips for making your pet’s holiday boarding stay easier

– Ask for referrals

The first thing you need to do is make a list of places that you’re considering. Check with other pet owners that you know about boarding facilities that they trust. This will give you a great start because you know that they will be honest with you about their experiences. Your veterinarian is also a great resource for suggestions.

– Check out the boarding facilities in person

In order to get a good idea about the facilities you’re considering is by checking them out in person. Before you go, make a list of questions you may have. While you’re there, take some time to talk to the staff to see how friendly they are and how knowledgeable they are. Also, observe the cleanliness of the facility, the size of the enclosures and what access to the outdoors is like. If you live in a cold climate, make sure that the facility will be heated.

– Double check the rules and get your pet up-to-date on vaccinations

Many facilities have rules when it comes to vaccinations. Because your pet will be exposed to many other animals, you need to make sure they are protected. When you go to tour the facilities, it’s a good idea to bring your pet’s health record with you. Most of the time, boarding facilities will require that your dog be vaccinated for kennel cough because it is highly contagious and spreads quickly in these types of environments.

– Make sure your pet has its own room

You need to make sure that your pet has its own room. Do not let your pet go to a facility that will place it with another person’s pet. There are many things that could go wrong in that kind of situation and you shouldn’t have to worry about that when you leave your pet somewhere.

– Verify that you can bring in your own food for your pet

The last thing you want to worry about is upsetting your pet too much or them getting sick. Regardless of whether your pet actually requires a special diet, make sure that you can bring in your own food for your pet. If they are forced to change food quickly, this can make them sick and cause a lot of problems. They should be able to keep on eating their regular diet while staying at a boarding facility.

Also make sure to pack enough food and medication, if needed. You don’t want your pet to run out while you’re gone because you’ll have no way to get them more until you return.

– Book early

Good boarding facilities book up quickly, especially during the holidays. Make sure to do your research well ahead of time and pick a location. This will also give you peace of mind as you get closer to having to leave. At least you’ll have this set up far ahead of time.

– Provide contact information

Make sure to include all contact information for you, emergency numbers and your veterinarian in case someone needs to be reached while you’re gone.

– Make sure your pet has identification

When you drop your pet off, it’s important to have a collar with identification information on it. You may want to consider getting your pet a microchip as well, just in case. This will make it much easier to find your pet if the collar or tags get lost.

– Don’t draw out your goodbyes

When it comes time to drop off your pet, don’t make a big fuss over leaving. Even though you may be sad, put on a happy and calm face for your pet. If your anxiety is obvious or if you make the goodbye drawn out, you will actually make your pet more nervous about what’s happening. Also be sure to include familiar toys.

The holidays can be a stressful time, especially if you need to leave your pets behind. By doing some work ahead of time and finding the right facility for your pet, you will have a much more pleasant holiday for both of you! Check out information about our pet boarding facility and contact us now for more information!

pet cancerJust like humans, pets are susceptible to getting diseases and cancer is no exception. As your pet ages it is not uncommon for them to develop cancer. Getting the news that your lovable pet has cancer can be devastating and shocking. Learning and knowing the stages of the disease and treatment will help you provide a better quality of life for your furry friend.

 

Types of Pet Cancer

There are various types of cancer that can affect different areas of your pet’s body. Some of the types of cancers are specific to either cats or dogs, and others that may be more prevalent in specific breeds. The cancers specific to felines are less common but can still occur. Unfortunately, cancer in dogs is more widespread and has more types.

 

Feline Cancers

  • Leukemia – is a virus that affects the immune system. Possible signs of this cancer include loss of appetite, lethargy, weight loss, increased infections and swelling. Feline leukemia is transmitted through bodily fluids of the cats. There are treatment options and many cats live approximately two years after diagnosis.
  • Lymphoma – This affects the white blood cells and the immune system. The cancer is generally found in the lymph nodes and bone marrow.

 

More Common Canine Cancers

  • Lymphoma – is found in the lymph nodes and bone marrow and affects the immune system. This cancer starts with swollen lymph nodes in the neck or behind the knees and can progress  rapidly.
  • Hemangiosarcoma – generally found in the organs or under the skin, this type of cancer generally does not show any signs until the later stages. Hemangiosarcoma is predominantly found in the larger dog breeds.
  • Mast Cell Tumors – usually found in the skin and soft tissues. This cancer affects the immune system. Mast cell tumors generally start as lesions on the skin.
  • Melanoma – is skin cancer that can be found in any pigmented part of the body, including the eyes. The first signs of this cancer may be dark areas in the skin or color changes in the eyes. This is another rapidly progressive cancer.
  • Osteosarcoma – is found in the bone. Osteosarcoma may start by showing signs of swelling or lameness. This cancer grows quickly and the tumors are usually malignant.
  • Mammary Cancer – are tumors that are found in the mammary glands usually in female dogs. This type of cancer is generally missed because it first appears as a small nodule.

Early Warning Signs

If you can catch the warning signs early enough, the chances of recovery increase. Check your pet for any lumps, lesions, swelling or tenderness to the touch and contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns. Some of the signs to look for include:

  • Swelling
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lack of energy

Are Lumps Cancerous?

Not all lumps are cancerous, but it is best to err on the side of caution and take your pet to the vet to be checked out.  Once your pet has been checked, continue to monitor for lumps and advise your pet’s doctor of any changes. Generally the lumps that are not cancerous are fatty tumors but still need to be watched closely for any changes.

 

Treatment and Care

Just like any medical care, treatment can be expensive. Once the diagnosis has been received, talk with your pet’s doctor for your options. When discussing your options you need to not only consider the cost of the treatment but also the quality of life of your pet. Factors to include in your decision process are the stage of the cancer, your overall pet’s health, cost of treatment and possible additional after care.

 

Getting the news that treatment is not an option is the most helpless feeling you may have. When the cancer is in the advanced stages and is progressing rapidly, keeping your pet as comfortable as possible until the end is the most important care you can give your furry friend.

 

Another aspect of the care for a pet with cancer is the pet’s family. The loss of a loved one including a pet is very difficult. Not only do you need to take care of your pet but you need to take care of you and your family’s needs, including emotionally. If you need additional support, there are several support groups for families of pets with cancer. These groups can not only offer emotional support but also provide you with information on the progression of the disease. Knowing what to expect can help prepare you mentally and emotionally.

 

For more information on pets with cancer and the treatment and care, contact Dr. Foye and our team at Longview Animal Hospital.